DESIGN PROJECTS and CLIENTS

Post 538  by Gautam Shah

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Projects come to a Designer through many different channels. One of the simplest and obvious source is through a (user) Client. The client, in a very simplistic term is a person who pays for the design services. But a client may or may not be the person to own or use the entity to be delivered. Clients and Professional both need to have a right to initiate the relationship. The right to be a client, though fundamentally derives from the capacity to pay or compensate for the design creation services, it has many other facets. A person as a client must have:

1 investible resources or finance to execute a project; 2 a space or site as land or building for the project, 3 some form of experience; expertise or knowledge as to what the project is or know how to secure the same; 4 and an intense desire, aspiration, vision or motivation for the project.

Shop in the The Crystals in Las Vegas wikipedia image by Author Gryffindor

Clients must have a need for the design services. A project, which is fairly complex, requires some expert input, and must be handled by a professional. A client on own could have the qualifications or organizational backing to generate a design for the project, but may be circumstantially restrained to do so. Government officials and persons in charge of an organization as an employee must remain at ‘arms length where their positional neutrality can be questioned. Such clients must hire external or independent professionals.

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A client realizes the potential for a project when the assets such as land, building, money; and personal qualities like knowledge, expertise, experience; remain unexplored, or are not providing sufficient gains. In case of assets the financial adviser provides clues how to explore the situation. Personal qualities motivate a person to an activity to pursue. For the first set, the financial expert suggests the ways, and agency who can give a shape to it. For the second set, the person with knowledge, expertise, experience, will still need an agency to formulate the project. For both the cases the agency could be a project consultant or a designer. Financial advisers and project consultants are the largest referring agencies for designers. Next lot of design assignments arrive from designers of other branches of design. An architect would need services of structural, interior or landscape designer. An interior designer would have to depend on an architect, structural or landscape designer.

wikipedia image by Author Derzsi Elekes Andor

To initiate a project, a professional requires some prime information or mandatory data. The clients’ potential for a project, reflects in the nature of data, available to generate a design. Providing prime information or mandatory data is both, a client’s duty and right. A professional must get basic data like the nature of ownership or rights of access to the site, site identity, design requirements, nature and sources of funds to implement the design. A professional can get such data from other sources, yet to check out the capacity and sincerity of a client, the design professional demands such information during the first meeting. A professional relationship is initiated with handing over data by the client, to a designer. Provision of data by a client, is a token of job commitment and retention of the professional’s services. Provision of data to a design professional is a clients’ right. A client may exercise that right to control the cost (by appointing own agencies) and accuracy of the data.

Non specific groups as clients > Wikipedia image by Author Jaimoen87

Small individual clients, casually begin to discuss their needs and dreams. A professional must accept such submissions formally by acknowledging it in writing. Organized clients, with complex projects bring in a brief or project programme. Non specific groups as clients, like a statutory body representing a mass of faceless clients, may have nothing more than the assignment title and appointment letter to offer at the start of a job. Virtually no data is offered. Projects postulated by other professionals, come with extremely detailed brief.

Projects postulated by other professionals, come with extremely detailed brief. >>> Wikipedia image by Author Smallworldsocial Permission (Reusing this file) http://www.smallworldsocial.com/press

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DESIGN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

DESIGN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Post 414 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 

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A design project is carefully planned set of activities to achieve a comprehensive objective. Design projects handling aims to achieve the objectives within the defined scope, time, and costs. The fourth parameter of the project handling is the quality of the delivery. This requires advance management of the effort and required resources.

Every design project is a unique endeavour. Design projects are of many different types such as form a concept, create a product or render a service. A design project could be an idea or concept taking shape in mind, being readied for an outward expression, a strategy to actualize an idea, to recollect a happening, reckon the scale of an event, reproduce an experience or a search for a match or fit.

Managing a design project is distinctive activity from other more traditional, routine and administrative efforts. Design projects emerge out of circumstances –aided by all kinds of debate and analysis, by managerial or political policy decisions. It embodies not just strategy and solution to solve a problem in its physicality but is also a unique way of addressing social, business and organizational issues, within increasingly complex environments.

Design project handling is circumspect with time, money, people, other resources, and conditioned by the available technology, and by legal, social and such obligations. Design project take time for physical realization and during the period any change in its scope, time schedules, costs and quality requirements requires tactical reformation.

Design projects are so Scope or Extent dependent that an increase or decrease affects the scaling of the project, changes the cost profile or compromise the quality. A Time dependent design project, when gets delayed impacts the benefits or losses out of it. With early or accelerated execution, extensive benefits could be derived. Cost generally determines the extent of a project in the early stage, but costs are extremely variable and can change the perception of extent. On the other hand when conditions are abnormal and survival of an individual or the society is threatened, such as during war, natural calamities, catastrophes etc. the quality parameters are worst affected. Though best or most challenging projects planning methods have emerged in such acute conditions.

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Projects sometimes have a dual personality, technical, and procedural. Some projects are predominantly either technical or procedural, but not exclusively one or the other. Interior Design is an example of the former, whereas marketing or the training of personnel would be an example of the later. In design project management what is unfamiliar and non routine, invariably necessitates all kinds of learning, adaptation as well as problem solving, and technical projects need more of it.

A design project must always be treated as a first-ever effort. A sub-task or phase of such an endeavour may involve some degree of repetition, but one sets exclusive conditions for all such repeats. This is very different from processes or operations that are looped (to do the same thing) for productivity. A designer trying to repeat details at sub-task level for efficiency can never be creative.

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EVOLUTION of PROJECTS

Post 201 –by Gautam Shah

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Stages in Project Planning over a period Louvre Palace Wikipedia

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Projects evolve out of circumstances such as: Capital to invest, Land or property requiring a higher return, Experience, or Aspiration to venture out. A person (the ‘client’) often comprehends the potential, when familiar with such circumstances of the project. But the same person, however, finds it extremely difficult to formulate and manage a project (planning + execution + operation aspects of it). Services of experts are required to structure a project.

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New projects more often than not, evolve from the investment vs return studies by a financial expert, who also identifies other resources required for the project. Projects involving building of physical assets cannot be formulated or detailed by a financial expert. Such projects require multi disciplinary engineering contribution of technocrats. Project definition exercises are prompted by the client.

Projects Planning

PROJECT CONSULTANTS

Project consultants are multi disciplinary experts, and have the capacity to check the feasibility and viability of a project from many different considerations. Project consultants, though detail the project more intensively, in areas familiar to their domain.

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Clients sometimes have good comprehension of routine projects, and may directly retain a Design professional. A designer is then required to formulate the project. A good designer must have the multi disciplinary capacity to judge the scale, scope and technicalities of a project, often even before a formal design-scheme can occur. Such proficiency equips a designer to deal with larger and complex situations in future.

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Project consultants, define agencies that can design, supply, fabricate and operate various systems of a project. They specify the nature of various professional services required, modalities for selecting appropriate experts, and create outline for individual assignments. Project consultants, if authorized by their clients may even supervise and coordinate the agencies through the planning, design, construction, and operations phases.

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Project definition exercise starts with formation of a Project’s facts file. It is developed further as a -Project report or Project profile report, and ends as an evaluation of the completed project a -Historic report. The project definition work at all levels is carried out by the same expert, or on each occasion, a new set of experts are called in.

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PROJECT’S FACTS FILE

A project consultant (financial, technocrat, or designer) compiles a file, stating all the facts of the project. The project’s facts file, to be intelligible to a wider section of users like, non-experts, clients etc., is intentionally made very simple. It is concise, though may contain few graphical views or charts. A Multimedia presentation of it is also made to achieve different purposes such as to put forth the nature of the project, entice a client, demonstrate design professionals’ competence to handle such jobs, convince the sanctioning authorities, procure resources, etc.

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ProjectAll design parameters, concepts, etc. start from this facts-file. Once a project is approved, the original creator of the facts file may not have any role, and someone else is asked to create a detailed project report or project profile report.

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