What's Your Shoe Size?

Simple questions for solid relationships

Written by Todd Duwel

Much is asked of professional service firms today. Juggling volumes of legally-loaded project documents need not strip away the joy of practicing in our A/E/G/C market spaces. Yet for the longest time, professionals within our industries have been programmed to avoid conflict, difficulty and to some degree, even each other. The mantra of choice: put your head down, do your job and push through to the finish line.

At some point during this mindless strategy, lines and scopes and deliveries became blurred. When we began to step on each other’s toes, no one stopped to ask why.

#whatsyourshoesize contemplates an alternative path. A path less traveled, yet far more enjoyable and more effective.

Instead of waiting for seemingly inevitable scope gap, why not proactively seek to incorporate downstream project participants early on?

Why wait until bid day for a contractor to expose and leverage construction document flaws?

Why endure endless RFIs because a spec or detail doesn’t match expectations?

Why hold a collective breath waiting for bid numbers to align with construction budgets?

Why do we invite and accept unpredictability to expose our vulnerability? Why don't we take control of our fate where and when we can? Why aren't we open to relationships on the front end of design, which would benefit both our design service and back-end construction administration?

Why are we intimidated by the process? Why aren't we asking these questions? Why aren't we asking a lot of questions?

How can I buy you a new pair of shoes if I don’t know your shoe size?

Look down at the mountain of typical project records and contract documents. Now, pick your head up and look at me: I wear a size 12. The rest is on you to ask about.



Todd Duwel

As Woolpert’s Building Sector Leader, Todd Duwel advances the built environment through informed, integrated design and proven programmatic strategies. He empowers his multidisciplinary AEG team to listen, collaborate and provide industry expertise to solves owners’ challenges, deliver exceptional service and aligns outcomes with dynamic, curious discussions.

Look for more of Todd’s observations on risk management in the months to come.


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