TZL 1359 (web)



Change: Nancy Ludwig President and senior principal of ICON Architecture (Boston, MA), a women-owned, SOMBDA certified firm that’s staffed over 50 percent by women.


L udwig focuses on sustainable urban projects that create new paradigms for city living, and range from transit-oriented development to innovative adaptive reuse, and from low-rise to high-rise construction. She has contributed to the design and construction of more than 15,000 housing units throughout New England. Her projects have been case studies for nationally distributed books on sustainable housing, published by the ULI, Harvard University Press, and Global Green, and honored by multiple national awards. “When staff can tell us succinctly what they want to do, we make our best efforts to keep them engaged and help them move forward,” Ludwig says. “This could mean pulling them onto another team where they can learn a desired skill, or sending them out for training for a specific topic, or keeping them first in line for the next project type that they want to explore. Our senior staff are very good at helping engaged junior staff grow into new positions by letting them shadow the work that they do.”

A CONVERSATION WITH NANCY LUDWIG. The Zweig Letter: How far into the future are you able to reliably predict your workload and cashflow? Nancy Ludwig: At ICON, the “projections” are an important tool to help us understand both workload/ staffing as well as cashflow. We monitor every project, update fee spent versus overall fee, and project fee to be expended over our contract time period. Along with our controller, I meet with each project manager to forecast their project needs over the forthcoming year as best we can. We then review the projections monthly with our business management team, with everyone in the room, so that all managers understand overall firm project needs and all staff assignments. Managers often share staff and it’s important for them to understand how much time of a staff member that they can access. We are organized in three focus areas of the practice, so each practice principal is also involved in the process. This is a critical


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