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Keith Fentress

Recent Posts

A Holistic Process for Managing the Performance of Remote Employees

Posted by Keith Fentress on Apr 26, 2018

Topics: Remote employee performance measurement


By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

I often hear the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I took the phrase to heart about five years ago, and began to focus heavily on measuring the performance of our employees, all of whom work remotely. I had graphs and scales for everything: How well employees supported company values. How much employees contributed to the company relative to other employees. Hours worked by employee by task. And so on. What I found was that my focus on measuring distracted me from the more important aspects of performance - accountability and transparency.

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Is Your Courtroom Design Intimidating?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jun 22, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Aesthetics, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning


By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

Years ago, during a courthouse needs assessment, I had a passing conversation with a defense attorney while I was evaluating courtrooms. She noticed that I was taking space measurements and photographs, and commented that the standards for courtroom design should change because participants often find them overly intimidating. I was thinking to myself, “Isn’t that a good thing – to sit in a sobering space where defendants can feel the weight of their circumstances in a room that reflects the values of the judicial process?

The attorney explained that a courtroom can be so large that it makes an individual feel small. So formal that it is imposing to the participants. So ornate that it is not relatable to the average person, especially those from less affluent backgrounds. From her point of view, the size, formality, and decor combine to produce an intimidating space – and she did not see that as a good thing.

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Create an Open Office Plan that Works for Everyone

Posted by Keith Fentress on Apr 20, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Space Transition, Space Reduction and Utilization

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

We are going to speak affirmatively about adapting from a traditional office environment to an open floor plan.  You've seen this in any number of places over the years. What might not be recognized is that this move provides an opportunity for change. Not just a change in how the office looks and feels, but a change in the culture of the organization. 

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Could the New Administration Boost the Use of Public-Private Partnerships for Courthouse Funding?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Apr 13, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courthouse Processes and Planning

By Trish Lomonosov, AICP, Senior Analyst / Planner

After spending more than a decade as a courthouse planning consultant, I began studying for the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification exam last year. I must admit that the thought of one topic in particular struck fear in my heart and had me running – not walking – for the coffee pot. History, Theory, and Law. Sounds frightening, don’t you think?

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Get Analysts and Architects on the Same Team for your Space Transition Project

Posted by Keith Fentress on Apr 6, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Space Transition, Space Reduction and Utilization

By Donna Chaney, Senior Consultant

If your organization has undergone a space transition, you most likely followed a typical path. First, you gathered input from managers and perhaps even staff about their needs and preferences. Next, you may have worked with a planner to identify the square footages required. After these initial steps, you got to the “meat and potatoes” - designing and constructing the space. (And finally, there’s the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but we’ll save that for another blog!)

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Are Your Jury Facilities Guilty of Neglect? The Verdict is In

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 30, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning

By Alison Jones, Lead Consultant

Six months ago, I received my first ever summons for jury duty. I had somehow eluded it my entire life, but my number was finally up!

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Tomorrow's Office: How Virtual Will the Reality Be?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 23, 2017

Topics: Open Office Design, Mobile Workforce Solutions, Virtual Workforce, Collaborative Workspaces

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

As an architect who focuses on space transition projects, my goal is to move an organization’s facilities from traditional to more collaborative and mobile. But I also try to look beyond today’s needs to future work practices and office designs. I believe the most effective way to look forward is to first consider past trends. Thus, I like to look backward for answers. Sometimes way back.

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Transitioning from Court Work to Telework

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 16, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Technology, Courthouse Mobile Workforce Solutions

By Mary Talley, Senior Court Analyst

In recent years, teleworking has become an increasingly popular trend. Organizations are shrinking office space and dramatically reducing rent budgets. While there will always be jobs that cannot be done remotely – retail work, positions that require direct customer contact, etc. – most are candidates for some degree of telework. But is the position of court clerk a good candidate? I believe the answer is YES (with some parameters, which I’ll discuss in this blog).

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Is Vacant Space an Undiscovered Asset in your Office?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 9, 2017

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Space Reduction and Utilization

By Danny Rupp, Web Developer/Architectural Designer

Are you aware of how much vacant space you are currently paying for in your office? You may occasionally walk around and notice one or two empty offices or workstations and not think much of it. But if you add up all the vacant spaces on one floor, or even across multiple floors in a building, you might be surprised by exactly how much space is sitting there gathering dust. You may be expending valuable resources to support vacant space that is giving nothing back, and that could be utilized much more efficiently in an open office design.

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Building Upon History: A Historic Courthouse Renovation Success Story

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 2, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courthouse Processes and Planning

By Ted Prestogeorge, Senior Architectural Consultant

Each year, I assess more than two dozen courthouses of varying size and character. At the end of each assessment, I recommend an architectural approach to meet the current and future space needs of the court. For historic courthouses with strict preservation requirements in downtown areas, coming up with a workable and affordable solution can be a challenge. This blog presents one such instance and the way an exceptional historic courthouse was preserved via an addition and renovation of existing space.

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