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Article

Marie Elf and Inga Malmqvist

Initial briefs (programs) were examined in order to obtain an overview of current practice in documenting the briefing process for new health care buildings in Sweden.

Abstract

Purpose

Initial briefs (programs) were examined in order to obtain an overview of current practice in documenting the briefing process for new health care buildings in Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

An audit instrument was developed and used to examine briefs for the content and quality of information and to determine whether and to what extent the information was comprehensive and patient‐oriented.

Findings

The results indicate that few strategic briefs make use of evidence to support their statements. Moreover, few briefs had an explicitly patient‐focused goal for the project or measurable outcomes.

Originality/value

This new audit approach can be applied in various organisations and over time to improve the briefing process and create clearer goals and guidelines.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article

Abimbola Olukemi Windapo and Astrette Cloete

This paper aims to examine briefing practices and whether these are related to the quality of brief documents and client satisfaction in constructed health-care facilities…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine briefing practices and whether these are related to the quality of brief documents and client satisfaction in constructed health-care facilities in South Africa. The rational for the examination stems from the view held by scholars that the briefing process is critical to the success of projects, as well as client/user satisfaction in the constructed facility, and also because of undocumented reports of client/end-user dissatisfaction in constructed health-care facilities in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The research process consisted of a literature review to identify existing briefing framework and practices in use applicable to facilities. This was supported by an exploratory case study of a recently completed public hospital in East London, South Africa. Data collection for the study was undertaken by means of conducting semi-structured interviews with two groups consisting of client representatives and the technical design team on the project.

Findings

The research established that in the context of this case study, inadequate client consultation took place, not all design consultants were adequately involved in the development of the project brief, limited use was made of a specific briefing framework in developing the project brief and that despite these shortcomings in the briefing process followed, a comprehensive good quality briefing document was produced and the client was satisfied with the health-care facility constructed.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study are generalizable with health-care facilities only. As such, research inferences and projections can only be made within this set and may not necessarily be applicable to the wider construction sector or to all projects within this sector.

Practical implications

The implications of this research are applicable to constructed health-care facilities. Practical inferences include the need to acknowledge that there is a need for a briefing framework, which should outline the involvement of all design consultants and client representatives when developing the project briefs for health-care facilities. The briefing framework is proposed for use in addressing the shortcomings in the briefing processes and practices and will also help the client in the choice of a brief process and practice which will comprehensively capture their requirements, give clear directives/information to the design consultants and will result in higher levels of end-user/patient satisfaction in the constructed health-care facility.

Social implications

Clients and allied professionals in charge of health-care facilities’ construction are encouraged to consider the implementation of a standard framework for use in the briefing process. This reflection should encourage engagement through formative legislative provision and transparent awareness campaigns.

Originality/value

This work is original insofar, as it directly addresses the alignment of briefing practices to quality of brief documents and client satisfaction in constructed health-care facilities within the context of the South African construction industry. However, similar exercises have been undertaken on briefing practices in the wider construction sector.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Tetske Bogers, Juriaan J. van Meel and Theo J.M. van der Voordt

This paper aims to provide a better understanding of how architects perceive and use briefing documents. It discusses what type of briefing information architects find…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a better understanding of how architects perceive and use briefing documents. It discusses what type of briefing information architects find relevant for their design process, and how and when briefing information should be presented. It also gives recommendations for clients and consultants that produce the brief.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a review of briefing literature, six exploratory interviews with two clients, two architects and two consultants, 18 in‐depth interviews with Dutch architects, and a workshop with Dutch experts on briefing.

Findings

A brief (or “program of requirements”) is a crucial means of communication in the interaction between clients and architects. A good brief explains what the client needs, desires and expects from a project. This is all crucial information for the design process. In the interviews, however, many architects indicated that, in daily practice, briefing documents are not as useful as they should be. In their opinion, briefs are often too long, containing overly‐detailed specifications, that are not always clear, consistent or complete.

Practical implications

In addition to the analysis of architects' complaints, six recommendations are given with respect to the briefing process, the contents and structure of the brief, and the status of the brief.

Originality/value

Most publications on briefing focus on the client and brief writing at the start of a project. The present paper discusses the opinions and experiences of the architect and the use of the brief in the design process.

Details

Facilities, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Farzad Khosrowshahi

The focus of this work is on the client-designer interface where decisions have significant impact over the lifecycle of the project. Therefore, the briefing stage is…

Abstract

Purpose

The focus of this work is on the client-designer interface where decisions have significant impact over the lifecycle of the project. Therefore, the briefing stage is examined in the context of clients’ needs which is divided into project-based strategy and broader clients’ strategy. The purpose of this paper is to address the pitfalls in the briefing process which has been attributed to the shortcomings in the client-designer communication interfaces. This will be achieved by developing an automated brief generation framework. The research examines the efficiency of standard approaches to modelling and design, and the benefits that these methodologies have offered to the computer industry. The work reviews the similarities between the two industries and argues in support of the potential benefits in adopting a standard methodology in the construction industry. The structure upon which the framework is developed is based on system analysis and design methodology (SSADM) which has proven to be an effective platform used within the software development industry.

Design/methodology/approach

SSADM is an established methodology within the software development industry. The paper will demonstrate that due to fundamental similarities between the construction and software development industries, SSADM is likely to offer a viable platform upon which an automated enhanced brief generation model is developed for use in the construction industry. The construction design and construction process will be mapped on SSADM high-level definition before focusing and honing on the design phase. The methodology for the development of the framework will be based on the rationalist approach of generating knowledge through reasoning leading to model-building.

Findings

A model that is based on SSADM is proposed for the design development phase of construction projects. In order to shape the project strategy, the model considers the combined role of clients’ requirements with organisation strategy and environmental factors. The paper has shown that it is feasible to increase the automation of the briefing process and enhanced the briefing output. The model here does not diminish the importance of direct communication between the client and the design team. It provides a more structured way of doing so, while taking advantage of vast array of data and technology in order to improve the brief outcome.

Research limitations/implications

From practical perspective, the proposed framework is in its formative stage, thus requiring incremental refinement through several case studies. This is particularly true about the AI components of the system which typically rely on extensive data representing the real-case scenarios. Therefore, the work invites further research into the examination of various parts as well as the overall system.

Practical implications

There are several ways by which construction projects are procured. There may be fluctuation in their rate of usage, but while there is no indication of any procurement option fading, new ones such as PPP and PFI are periodically introduced. The existence of this diversity is indicative of the fact that the industry tends to respond to problems rather than attempting to instigate a measured solution supported by theoretical underpinning. Subsequently, there have been suggestions of a communication and information discourse between actors and within processes involved in project lifecycle. This project is aimed at addressing the gap in the client-designer communication. The automated approach to brief generation will lead to better briefs while reducing ambiguities as well as the overhead associated with brief generation.

Social implications

The quality of project brief has a significant impact on decisions at the design stage. In turn, these decisions will influence all phases of construction project lifecycle. The briefing session and requirement analysis of a construction project can be very difficult for inexperienced clients particularly for complex projects. Therefore, there is potential for the process of client-requirement-analysis to be optimised. The work promises to improve the quality of the briefing process, thus helping clients to realise their intended objectives and minimise resource waste.

Originality/value

The work builds on the commonalities of the construction and software development industries and takes advantage of the advancements in the latter. In doing so, project quality is defined quantitatively which is used to develop project strategy in a three-dimensional space. The development of the model was also contingent upon enhancement of artificial neural network structure.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

D. Baccarini and G. Bateup

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how benefits management is applied to office fit‐out projects, in terms of benefits identification, benefits planning, benefits…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how benefits management is applied to office fit‐out projects, in terms of benefits identification, benefits planning, benefits control and benefits realisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Three case studies, based in Perth (Western Australia) are investigated based on structured interviews with the project sponsor; and analysis of secondary documentation, such as business cases, briefs, and post‐occupancy evaluations.

Findings

There is no coherent, holistic application of benefits management models in office fit‐out projects. There are fragments of benefits management evident from the research, such as benefits identification and planning within business cases and briefs, and benefits realisation through post‐occupancy evaluations.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on three case studies, so it is not possible to draw any strong generalisations. Future studies are needed to corroborate or contradict the findings in this research.

Practical implications

The results highlight some aspects of benefits management in office fit‐out projects that could be improved, particularly the setting of key performance indicators for benefits, and more formal benefits control and realisation processes.

Originality/value

This research is the first to take the construct of benefits management, which is primarily applied to information systems projects, and investigate its application in building projects.

Details

Facilities, vol. 26 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

John Kelly, Kirsty Hunter, Geoffrey Shen and Ann Yu

To identify the management tools and variables that impact briefing, assess the nature of current briefing practices, review the need for more structured techniques and…

Abstract

Purpose

To identify the management tools and variables that impact briefing, assess the nature of current briefing practices, review the need for more structured techniques and determine the place of facilities management in briefing.

Design/methodology/approach

A detailed literature review to analyse and critique the briefing process was followed by a brainstorming session to explore relevant technical frameworks. A questionnaire survey investigated opinions of structured approaches to briefing.

Findings

The facilities manager operating within the strategic framework of the client organisation and having the necessary skills is a natural choice as brief writer. Facilities managers’ involvement is not strongly reflected in this research, indicating perhaps that they do not consider briefing a natural role or that they do not possess the skills for its undertaking. It is concluded that while briefing remains an unstructured investigative process, the skills for which are learned through experience, then architects and project managers will continue to dominate the activity.

Practical implications

Currently, briefing is unstructured, iterative, and uses a variety of media for its exposition. More formalised processes recognising strategic and project briefing are advocated in the literature. Options for improvement include a structured approach to investigative briefing and facilitated value management.

Originality/value

The limited involvement of facilities managers in briefing prompted this research. This paper identifies the structure and variables impacting the briefing process and concludes with options for formalised approaches to briefing.

Details

Facilities, vol. 23 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article

Ann T.W. Yu, Qiping Shen, John Kelly and Kirsty Hunter

To describe a research project which seeks to establish a value management framework for project briefing to systematically identify and clarify client requirements, and…

Abstract

Purpose

To describe a research project which seeks to establish a value management framework for project briefing to systematically identify and clarify client requirements, and represent these requirements precisely and explicitly to facilitate the design process.

Design/methodology/approach

Two research instruments are used: structured questionnaire survey to validate the theoretical framework established; and experiments to test the proposed value management framework with real‐life projects, supported by case studies.

Findings

The primary research findings of this project are the identification of 13 variables that have an impact on the briefing process, which form the basis of the theoretical framework. It is revealed that the theoretical foundation of the research supports the use of value management to the briefing process. Further validation will be completed by conducting questionnaire survey and real‐life case studies.

Originality/value

This paper improves comprehension of the nature, characteristics and problems of the briefing process. It also introduces the theoretical foundation of the research project and describes the process for the development of the value management framework for project briefing.

Details

Facilities, vol. 23 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Geoffrey Q.P. Shen and Jacky K.H. Chung

This paper aims to investigate briefing in the construction industry in Hong Kong. Specifically, it sets out to discover the current practices on briefing in the industry…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate briefing in the construction industry in Hong Kong. Specifically, it sets out to discover the current practices on briefing in the industry and the limitations of these practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This study consists of a literature review and a pilot study, structured focus group interviews and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

The study has revealed that current practices, although have been in operation for a long time, have a number of limitations such as lacking in a comprehensive framework; lacking in identification of client requirements; lacking in contributions from clients; lacking in involvement of stakeholders; and inadequate time spent on the briefing. It is concluded that these limitations must be properly addressed by the industry in order to improve the briefing and to avoid subsequent problems in the design and construction phases, and that more resources should be allocated.

Originality/value

So far, little work has been undertaken to study the practice of briefing in sufficient depth in the construction industry in Hong Kong. This paper improves our comprehension of the nature of client requirements and provides valuable insights into the details of briefing in the public and private sectors of the local industry.

Details

Facilities, vol. 24 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Chris Akroyd and William Maguire

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which management control is enacted in a product development setting, to provide new insights into the different roles…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which management control is enacted in a product development setting, to provide new insights into the different roles that control can play in this context.

Design/methodology/approach

A nine‐month, in‐depth field study was carried out at a subsidiary of an Australasian multinational firm which operates in the consumer foods industry. A participant observation approach was used to collect field notes and documents from the organisation, which were analysed through the lens of ethnomethodology.

Findings

The results indicate that the role of management control during product development is mainly focused on reducing uncertainty at each stage and promoting goal congruence at the decision gates. The authors argue that this helps explain why management control has a positive effect in a product development setting.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this finding is that the role of management control changes during product development due to the involvement of different organisational members (communities of practice) and the activities that they carry out. This helps build a more holistic understanding of control in product development. As this is a field study of a specific company, the findings are not generalizable to other companies or settings. Future research needs to investigate other possible roles which management control may play in this context.

Originality/value

The paper extends the research in this area by showing how and why management control can take on multiple roles in practice.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article

John M. Kamara

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of the design quality indicator (DQI) tool in the management of client requirements in construction projects, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of the design quality indicator (DQI) tool in the management of client requirements in construction projects, and propose a requirements-oriented project process (ROPP) to ensure continued focus on client requirements throughout the lifecycle of a project.

Design/methodology/approach

Direct participant involvement and case studies of building projects that have used the DQI tool are used to analyse the extent to which DQI contributes to the management of client requirements.

Findings

Case study analysis suggests that the DQI enhances focus on client and project stakeholder requirements through the initial quality aspirations set out at the beginning of a project, but it is limited in its scope to address a more comprehensive requirements profile.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed ROPP model is conceptual and requires further development to test its effectiveness in enhancing focus on client requirements. However, given current developments in automated checking in BIM and other environments, this offers scope for further research in this area.

Originality/value

Maintaining focus on client requirements throughout the process is a key criterion for project success. However, given the many stakeholders involved, and the progressive translation into various project documents, there is a risk that focus on the original/evolving requirements of the client can be lost. Current approaches such as the DQI have limitations and a robust ROPP is, therefore, a key contribution to securing clients’ objectives over the project lifecycle.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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