If they gave out a badge for every project team that successfully and happily navigated the construction process, on it would be etched three words: Scope, Schedule and Budget.
Let’s break them down:
SCOPE What is the project, and who is responsible?
Scope describes the extent and quality of the work and defines the services to be delivered by all parties. It will evolve as the client’s wish list gets translated into working drawings, and the responsibilities for execution are assigned.
SCHEDULE When will it happen and how long will it take?
It describes the delivery date for the work and all the steps necessary to reach it. It should include milestones, critical paths, lead times, holidays, and will get revised based on delays. It will also show the transition from the planning phase (drawings, estimates, permits) to the execution phase (construction).
BUDGET How much will it cost?
Describes the cost of delivering the project. It includes both the hard costs (material and labour for construction) and the soft costs (professional services, permit fees, taxes etc.) The Architect will help in calibrating the client’s expectations based on their budget.
These three elements will form the basis for the builder’s contract and they will change over the course of the project. They are closely interrelated. Any time one is changed, the immediate follow-up should be to understand how it affects the others.
It is the responsibility of the project team to articulate changes to the scope, schedule and budget at every turn. It is the client’s responsibility to understand that any changes they make will affect all three.