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1 Introduction If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up somewhere else. Yogi Berra Each year federal government agencies contract for the design, construction, and renovation of facilities projects with total costs in excess of $21 billion. The federal budgeting process requires agencies to set require- ments and priorities before submitting their budget requests to Congress. This process follows federal guidance but differs in practice for each agency. For facilities the setting of requirements begins when an individual or group (e.g., facilities program manager, senior executive, elected official) identifies the need for a program or facility, ideally based on strategic or master planning. The agency then initiates a process to gather information and validate the need for the facility relative to a program and to its mission. The requirements phase (referred to as preproject planning) includes organizing a planning team, selecting and evaluating project options, defining the scope of the project (type of facility, size, cost, quality) that would fulfill the requirements, and then making a decision on whether to proceed with the project. If the project does proceed, the next step is to develop a document to serve as the basis for advertising and awarding a contract for detailed design. This document is typically referred to as a scope of work for design. It details the services to be provided by the contractor (deliverables, format, deadlines) and the project scope of work (i.e., the type of facility the agency wants to build or renovate, its proposed cost, schedule, and quality). There is no single, standard, governmentwide process for developing scopes of work for design, although there are similari- ties in the different agencies' approaches. More than 25 individual agencies develop scopes of work for design in the context of preproject planning, programming, end budgeting processes; clients; and organizational mission, programs, culture, and technical skills. The design and construction of federal facilities have been the subject of government oversight and inquiry since the United States was founded. Several studies over the past 15 years have looked closely at the facility delivery process in the federal government under the auspices of the National Research Council. These documents contain several recurring themes that will be explored in more detail in this report. The themes identified include the following: s
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6 STARTING SMART: KEY PRACTICES FOR DEVELOPING SCOPES OF WORK FOR FACILITY PROJECTS · the need to focus more effort on preproject planning as a key ingredient to improving project success (National Research Council, 1989; 1990; 1994; 2000a; 2000b; 2001; Federal Facilities Council, 1998; 2000~; · the importance of early involvement of key stakeholders in the pre-project planning process (Federal Facilities Council, 2000; National Research Council, 2000b; 2001~; · the need to involve design consultants early in the process and leverage decreasing federal expertise due to retirements and downsizing (National Research Council, 1989; 1990; 1998a; 2000b; 2001; Federal Facilities Council, 2000~; · the importance of developing a performance measurement system, including facility postoccupancy re- views, in order to understand and improve the facility delivery process (National Research Council, 1989; 1990; 1994; 2000a; 2000b; 2001; Federal Facilities Council, 1998; 2000~; · the efficacy of effective and comprehensive design reviews, including during the preproject planning process (Federal Construction Council, 1987; Federal Facilities Council, 2000; National Research Council, 1998a; 2000a; 2001~; · the effective training of personnel in the process and technical aspects of preproject planning (and the entire facility delivery process) (Federal Construction Council, 1987; National Research Council, 1998a; 2001~; · the detrimental effect that a long facility budgeting process can have on project success (National Research Council, 1990; 1994; 1998a); · the need for senior-level involvement and oversight in the facility delivery process, including preproject planning (Federal Facilities Council, 2000; National Research Council, 1998a; 2001~. PROBLEM STATEMENT Developing a scope of work for design presents a number of challenges. Ideally, the resulting facility should support the fulfillment of an agency's mission and programs for decades and meet the short-term needs of the users, all within cost, schedule, quality, and political constraints. A facility project has many stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the facility owner, users, contractors who design and construct it, building managers and operators, architects, engineers, technical reviewers such as fire and security personnel, taxpayers, and the surrounding community. Issues that should be addressed when developing a project scope of work include identifying the stakeholders, involving them in the process at appropri- ate decision points, and establishing clear lines of responsibility. During the development of a project scope of work, objectives for sustainability, accessibility, maintainability, and security, need to be addressed and tradeoffs for purposes of mission or functionality made as necessary. Facilitating effective communication among and between stakeholders with technical and nontechnical back- grounds representing a wide range of experience and viewpoints can be a challenge. For example, building users may know what functions the facility will need to accommodate but may not understand how those needs translate to space requirements, layout, supporting infrastructure such as roads or utility systems, and so on, and may not understand the cost and schedule implications of changing requirements after the start of detailed design. Archi- tects and engineers, on the other hand, may understand the design requirements but may not be familiar with the functions, programs, and political pressure that the owner and/or user is trying to accommodate. Involving a diverse group of stakeholders in the development of a project scope of work raises issues of lines of authority and accountability for project decisions. Determining who will be responsible for evaluating the performance of individual team members and contractors becomes a critical issue. Matching the acquisition strategy with the type of project, its schedule, and its funding requirements is a key, but often overlooked, step in delivering facility projects that meet the agency's overall objectives. Selecting the most appropriate acquisition strategy can help ensure a successful outcome. Choosing an inappropriate acquisition strategy, on the other hand, can undermine the best preproject planning effort. The elements that should be included in a scope of work for design will vary depending on the acquisition strategy (design-bid-build, design- build, construction management, etc.~.
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INTRODUCTION 7 STUDY PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES The original objectives of this study as defined by the Federal Facilities Council (FFC) Organizational Performance and Management Committee were to identify the elements that should be included in a scope of work for design to help ensure that the resulting facility is one that supports fulfillment of an agency's program or mission; identify key practices for developing effective scopes of work for design involving new construction or major renovation projects; and identify key practices for matching the scope of work for design with the acquisi- tion strategy, given a range of project delivery systems and contract methods. Because of budget and time constraints, only a limited amount of research could be conducted regarding the third objective. Where information was gathered, it is summarized in this report; however, additional research in this area is warranted. Issues related to acquisition strategies for federal facilities will be addressed in a future report. The committee also requested that the following issues or topics be addressed during the course of this study: the core competencies, organizational support, and training needed by the various stakeholders to effectively fulfill their roles and responsibilities; methods for identifying stakeholders and their appropriate roles and responsibili- ties when developing a scope of work for design; practices used in selected federal agencies to develop scopes of work for design; practices used by nonfederal organizations to develop scopes of work for design and their transferability to the federal sector; the project scope of work and preproject planning decisions that need to be made and the information needed to make them; the elements that should be included in a scope of work for design and what may happen in subsequent phases of acquisition if these elements are not included; identification of variations in the elements of a scope of work for design depending on the acquisition strategy; development of baselines and metrics for measuring the quality and performance of a facility and its relationship to the scope of work for design; and tools and technologies that can be used to support the development of scopes of work for design. All of these issues and topics are addressed, at varying levels of detail, in this study. HOW THE STUDY WAS CONDUCTED The FFC Standing Committee on Organizational Performance and Management, in collaboration with other federal personnel and FFC staff, provided direction and oversight for this study. With the assistance of the committee, points of contact were identified in federal agencies directly involved in the development of facilities, and these points of contact provided access to resources. The study focused on building-type facilities, that is, those that are typically designed by architects with the assistance of engineers. Many other facility types are constructed by the federal government, and most of the findings and issues described in this report are applicable to those facilities as well. Because of the amount of previous research available in the area of project development, interviews were considered the most beneficial method of gathering accurate information on current practices in the federal government, given the scope, budget, and time constraints of the study. The interview questionnaire was not intended to produce statistical results; responses were analyzed by observing the frequency of specific responses and developing common themes from the comments. The authors' intent was to study existing processes at both the policy level and the execution level. Both headquarters and field personnel were interviewed. The authors interviewed 25 personnel from 13 federal agencies, which together spend more than $10 billion annually on the construction of new facilities and major renovation of existing ones. A detailed list of the interviews is provided in Appendix A. An outline of the structured interview is provided in Appendix B. A scope of work for design has two major parts the contractual requirements (i.e., deliverables, format, submission deadlines) and the project scope of work (i.e., the type of facility to design, its size, cost, and quality). In the course of the interviews, the authors found that contractual requirements have been improved through experience and are not often an issue. Technical specifications are also relatively standardized. As an example, the Department of Defense is in the process of consolidating its technical criteria into a unified set that will be used by all three military departments (Department of Defense, 2000; Engineering News Record, 2000~.
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8 STARTING SMART: KEY PRACTICES FOR DEVELOPING SCOPES OF WORK FOR FACILITY PROJECTS Effectively communicating a project's scope of work is typically more challenging. Therefore, the interviews focused on three preproject planning activities that ultimately impact the quality of a scope of work for design. Proper identification of stakeholders and effective definition of a project's scope of work are key to developing and communicating that scope to the designer. Acquisition strategy is also key and is discussed to some extent. As noted previously, a follow-on study is planned that will address the issue of acquisition strategy in more detail. In addition, the authors conducted a detailed literature search and attended a one-day conference on preproject planning entitled "Government/Industry Forum on the Owner's Role in Project Management and Pre-project Planning," in Washington, D.C., on November 13, 2001. Information from that conference has been incorporated as appropriate (National Research Council, 2002~. ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT This report is divided into five chapters with supporting appendixes. Chapter 1 outlines the problem state- ment. Chapter 2 discusses standard forms commonly used to prepare scopes of work for design. Chapter 3 gives an overview of the preproject planning process, including definitions, key issues, tools, planning impact, and manage- ment actions required. Chapter 4 focuses on federal agency practices for preproject planning, development of project scopes of work, tools used to support preproject planning activities, and areas for improvement. Chapter 5 provides a summary that includes findings of the investigation and identification of key practices. Several tools and processes that support preproject planning and project scope development activities are provided as examples in the appendixes.
Representative terms from entire chapter: