A construction project can be divided into distinct phases. This blog reviews the key decision crunchpoints (see also my slideshare stages of a construction project).
From the Start
The project begins when a client considers she has a business need which may be met by developing new premises.
Action: Investigate whether the business need can be met through other alternatives; and research the client’s needs, priorities, user-requirements, constraints.
Once the statement of business needs approved, the client needs to make a decision ‘in principle’ and commit to invest. The client does not at this stage commit to the whole project.
Action: Define the requirements of the project. Prepare conceptual designs, feasibility studies, a statement of business needs, employer’s requirements, specifications and detailed cost/design proposals. Produce final documents for use in tender process. Identify & analyse risks. Decide relative importance of time, cost and quality.
After tender evaluation, the client commits to construct. This is when the client authorises the project team to start the construction project. According to the 2012 NBS Survey, only 61% of projects have a contract signed before construction starts (and some 4% never get a contract signed).
Action: Careful management of the contractor and project team.
After years of planning and months of work, the project is available for use. This may not be the same time as completion of the project.
Action: Undertake a structured de-brief to learn lessons for future projects.
…to Use & Disposal
This period involves occupation, defects rectification, use, maintenance, adaptation and, finally, disposal.