Insight Audit (August 2016)
JWP Architects specialise in complex institutional architecture including aged-care, schools and health care buildings and have designed some of the Border and north east Victoria’s landmark buildings; such as the Flying Fruit Fly Circus home and the learning hub at Xavier College.
The firm has been operating for more than 20 years and has been retained by many leading institutions for their significant infrastructure developments throughout these years.
"Birgit quickly understood many of the key strategic issues that our practice faces and has a very realistic and pragmatic approach to implementation."
For 20 years JWP was led by Bernie Jovaras and Doug Westland. A year after Doug’s retirement and the transition to the new team of partners, they wanted to understand the potential impact of the change on long-standing and new clients and what they were thinking, feeling and doing as a result of the change.
At the same time, this was an opportunity to seek feedback on JWP Architects’ services and communications.
The challenge for Fishbowl PR was to assess how the key clients reacted to this significant change.
In order to assess clients’ reactions, Fishbowl PR needed to consult them. Our Insight Audit, which is specifically designed to better understand stakeholder relationships, was perfectly suited.
We developed a tailored relationship audit questionnaire and at the end of 2015 interviewed nine JWP clients across four sectors.
These interviews explored the following areas:
- How the clients rated JWP on the six relationship characteristics
- How clients felt about the change in the business
- The clients’ needs
- The clients’ understanding of JWP’s services
- Feedback on the business including design, technical needs and reporting.
The audit found that JWP’s clients were heavily invested in the firm and wanted to know more about the new partners and how the practice would operate into the future. Clients also identified 10 new opportunities for JWP.
Six months after the audit Bernie Jovaras, JWP Partner, said the process benefited the organisation by further opening lines of communication with clients and it extended the partners’ thinking on business relationships to a ‘higher strategic level than before’.
Fishbowl PR made several recommendations including reviewing the JWP website – this has now been completed and some of the clients’ feedback has been used in the content.
Bernie Jovaras said the recommendations from the audit helped them develop a framework and action plan.
“Birgit recommended a number of strategies to maintain and improve these important client relationships. We now have a clear action framework on which to plan ahead and have made three changes already. One of these is increasing the number of partners who deal directly with key people at each client organisation.
“Birgit quickly understood many of the key strategic issues that our practice faces and has a very realistic and pragmatic approach to implementation.
“She has a depth of experience across a range of professions and can distil this into very useful general principles of action.
“We would certainly recommend the audit service to others who are going through a significant change and want to better understand their stakeholders so they can bring them along on the journey.”