At LandStudio360, we are proud to have such a hardworking group of people that make up our project management team. Our Associate Project Manager, Daniel Miller, has been with the team for nearly 10 years. Since he joined our team, Daniel has grown into a dynamic team member who is always eager for more. Daniel and his family reside just outside of Boise, ID where he oversees our growing Pacific Northwest operations.
Find out more about Daniel:
Describe your journey becoming a project manager
“My journey to becoming an Associate Project Manager was rooted in willingness and eagerness. As you make the transition from school to an office environment, there is a very steep learning curve about how real life landscape architecture works and differs from the academic world. From the outset, I made that transition all about being willing to take on more and to venture into tasks that I wasn’t fully comfortable with – that’s how I’ve always learned. Aside from that, a lot of asking questions and getting feedback on the process along the way.”
What is your favorite aspect of being a project manager?
“My favorite part of being a Project Manager is that you have a role in every aspect of a project and to see things through to completion. Each project has a million decisions that guide it towards completion and Project Managers get to have a role in making sure that projects are well thought through, well-coordinated, and seen to completion.”
What is your biggest challenge and how do you work through these challenges to get the job done?
“Oftentimes, the biggest challenge is just making sure everyone is on the same page – both internally and externally. As a Project Manager, I work closely with the LandStudio360 team to make sure we’re providing the highest level of service to our clients and project teams. In turn, we then need to make sure that we can convey our project’s vision to the client and design team to make sure what we design will be turned into reality. There are a lot of moving pieces that happen behind the scenes to make sure all the ‘I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed’ upon completion.”
How does project management differ in your industry, compared to others?
“I would say that Landscape Architecture, in general, differs from some other industries in that we’re being asked to design for an ever-evolving result. Landscapes are never static; they’re always growing and changing and we need to consider those changes over time from the outset for a project. As well, we design spaces for people to use and enjoy – as society continues to change with new trends, technologies, etc. we try to anticipate those things and translate them into well designed and thought of spaces.”
What drew you into landscape architecture?
“Initially, I was drawn to the equal blending of creative and technical aspects of the profession. All during college (and even today) most people just think that I draw pictures and get to use markers to ‘color’. And while the creative design side is a large part of it, there is an immense amount of technical knowledge that we bank as well – regulatory codes and compliance, construction, plant identification, site grading, water management, etc. that continually challenges us.
Today, I’m continually drawn to Landscape Architecture because it allows me to improve the community I call home by seeing tangible results of our hard work and to experience it with family and friends.”
As a Project Manager, how do you work with and support the other members of LandStudio360 to create great work?
“At LandStudio360, it’s a very hands-on approach to everything. We’re a dynamic team and everyone wears many hats – and it’s not uncommon that we assist each other through projects. We work closely together to ensure projects are on schedule and openly communicate where we need assistance or how we might be able to help someone else get a project task complete.”
Describe a project that forced you to think outside the box, challenged you, or changed your perspective in order to be a better project manager?
“It’s tough to pinpoint just one project because each one is different and uniquely challenging. Even after a decade in this profession I still find that each new project stretches me in some new way which keeps things fresh and exciting. Over the past few years, we have been involved in numerous more podium projects (spaces being designed over structures like parking garages or residences below). These projects present many more technical challenges and require very close and thorough coordination efforts among the entire design team; these types of projects have been a great way to learn a lot about architecture and construction, various materials, etc.”