Typical Project Stages and the Project Brief
Through his project management organization the owner achieves
real control of the project from the beginning. Typical project
stages and the owner's executive control points are shown in Figure
3. It is a distinct advantage if the project manager is appointed
to oversee the feasibility study, but even if this is not done,
it is essential that he be appointed before the start of any design.
Figure 3. A Complete Management Service over the
Life of the Project
Upon being appointed, his first task is to assemble the available
information such as the owner's prime requirements, economic data,
design standards and so on. He will then proceed with such other
studies, including concept and preliminary drawings, as may be necessary
to ensure the feasibility of the project.
The objective is to produce a detailed statement or proposal, which
is best referred to as a "Project Brief". A good project brief will
include a statement of project scope, justification, regulatory
requirements, preliminary design sketches, procurement plan, schedule,
design presentation estimate, cash flow and financial statement.
The essential purpose of this disciplined effort is to ensure the
best possible level of early decision making and information, and
therefore to minimize changes and delays during construction which
may then be ten or more times as expensive to implement or correct.
The project brief is also a powerful tool which can be used in
support of requests for funding, grants or external financing. It
is also useful for early discussions with regulatory authorities
and the public.
However, it cannot be emphasized too strongly that the proper
completion of the feasibility phase is crucial to effective control
of the large capital expenditures which will follow in the implementation
phase. Therefore, sufficient effort and resources should be devoted
to the feasibility phase to ensure that effective scope (quality),
time and cost (budget) standards have been established for the detailed
design and construction.
Upon acceptance by the owner, the project brief becomes a "working
bible" from which the project manager coordinates and directs a
design and construction team that is the most suitable for that