What Are The Contributions Made By Client Facing Project Managers To The Briefing Process Within The UK Construction Industry?
For the past fifty years or so briefing has been highlighted as one of the problem areas within the UK construction industry. Various UK government reports have reflected these inefficiencies from the Banwell (1964) report to the Egan (1998) report. The government reports put emphasis on the importance of improving customer focus in the construction industry. The brief establishes the requirements of the client and hence the objectives of a project. As the client facing project manager is concerned with achieving the project’s objectives, this dissertation seeks to establish what contribution the client facing project manager has on the briefing process. In order for this investigation to progress the following research will include a literature review of the briefing process and qualitative research of the client facing project manager’s involvement in the briefing process. Primary data obtained from the qualitative research will be analysed and conclusion will be drawn. Analysis of results of the investigation showed both negative and positive issues for the client facing project manager on contributing to the briefing process.
Negative issues include lack of education of the briefing process; there is a lack of understanding with regard to good practice implemented and poor undertaking of strategic briefs. Positive issues include an appreciation of the briefing process and an appreciation of the impact of a project upon the client’s core business; traits of leadership implemented to the briefing process and a willingness to gain knowledge in order to develop a strategic brief. The conclusion of the investigation is that the client facing project manager needs to gain further competence in order to contribute effectively to the briefing process. The dissertation objectives are as follows;
To evaluate the involvement of the client facing project manager in preparing the brief for their client
To assess the client facing project manager’s perception of the briefing process
To examine what tools and protocol the client facing project manager uses to develop a brief
To gain an insight into any barriers that exist which would hinder the client facing project manager from implementing a strategic brief
To examine the client facing project manager’s understanding of the briefing process
To assess if the type of client influences the client facing project manager’s involvement in the briefing process
To carry out an objective investigation, in analysis and conclusion
Briefing is an iterative process in trying to interpret client requirements and involves consultation with project stakeholders during its development. A good brief should capture the client’s requirements in a clear and precise way. As briefing is an iterative process, communication and coordination is important as a large amount of information is being passed between parties involved in the briefing process. The process requires decisive decisions to be made that can have implications on cost in later stages of a project. Central to the briefing problem is that the client does not fully express the project objective and is oblivious of the alternatives open to it. On the brief taker’s side there is difficulty in trying to decipher the requirements of the client. With uncertain information moving between parties, misinterpretation is a high risk and may only be avoided by repeated iterations around the problem.