As part of the RIBA Plan of work blog series this post will cover the Stage 0.
Stage 0 of the project involves determining how the client wants to accomplish their requirements. Mostly working out the finance and identifying the resources for the project.
The first stage in the processes of developing a project plan should always be producing the Business Case (the need) and Client Requirements (the details/spec). Depending on the situation, it can either be a quick review or go on for a long time, requiring many consultants.
The output of the stage 0 is the:
- business case
- client requirements
In order to deliver the best outcome for the client project, the main consideration for the customer is what skills need to be brought to their team. Different projects with different sites and briefs provide different challenges and so require different skills.
When the client needs to create a business case, it can take a lot of expertise from different consultant (financial and construction). Strategic thinking, management consulting skills and whole-life cost analysis are all helpful, but what about sustainable design or financial modelling?
The team you have at Stage 0 will be completely different to the team in Stage 1. The right team can prevent miscommunication among your team, so choosing the right one is important at each stage. For example, when working on Stage 1, you’ll need to work with a more construction-focused team to build out the project and Stage 0 is more business focused on the profit, costs and investment needed.
Stage 0 should be different from Stage 1, and the design team should not be appointed until Stage 2. The design work doesn’t start until then, but it’s important to commence with the necessary drawings before moving into production and construction. There is no point in engaging someone at an earlier stage to start designing
While design doesn’t always play a critical role on every project, some clients do have an interest in getting design consulting. If clients are unsure about how to address a project’s key challenges, they can always get the help of RIBA Client Advisers to provide strategic advice and support.
During this stage, it’s important to consider how the client requirements align with the project budget. If delivering the outcome is likely to be unaffordable, there’s no point in proceeding to Stage 1.