Strategic client briefing using performance indicators: A case study

Jim Smith, Ray Wyatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


The early stages of project development have been the focus of intense research and professional activity for a number of years. The need to establish client needs and then convert these into realistic project parameters and performance requirements has been a strong imperative within many organizations. Consequently, a number of pre-design processes and activities are now being instituted that work through client strategic and organisational issues and which organise the client's needs and requirements into a performance brief before the design team is involved. Such project inception approaches frequently involve stakeholders participating in pre-design workshops, and the outcome is a strategic client brief to prepare a clear and workable statement of the project requirements so that the clients can agree and commit themselves to it. This document can then provide a sound basis for the development of an innovative design, especially as it is usually prepared in performance terms to provide flexibility in design team interpretation.. Our particular pre-briefing approach is called strategic needs analysis. It uses a workshop setting to focus stakeholder involvement in proposing and identifying a range of strategic options for the project. Individual workshop participants express their preferences for the final options using a software package (Strategizer) and after a short period for analysis the results are presented to a second workshop for discussion. This second workshop decides on the preferred strategic direction, which may be based on an option previously identified or it may consist of an amalgam of the favoured features of a number of the original options. The performance brief is then made to reflect the workshop's preferences. A case study of strategic needs analysis involving the relocation of a library with community facilities to a new site is described here.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovative developments in architecture, engineering and construction
EditorsC.J. Anumba
PublisherMillpress Science Publishers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)90-5966-008-0
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Conference on Innovative Developments in Architecture, Engineering and Construction - Loughborough, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Jun 200327 Jun 2003


Conference2nd International Conference on Innovative Developments in Architecture, Engineering and Construction
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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