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See also: Briefing documents for building design. These articles should be combined.
The brief represents the desired project outcomes. It is important to understand that the brief is an evolving document developed through an iterative process. Briefing will run in parallel to the assembly of the project team as the project requirements are clarified, and the need for any specialist input identified.
 Plan of work stage 0: Strategic brief.
- Establish client's expectations and motives and the outline project objectives.
- Test the client's business case and desired outcomes.
- Assess whether the budget is sufficient to achieve the desired outcomes.
- Question the project fundamentals, such as the choice of site, the decision to build as opposed to refurbishing or doing nothing. Is there a better way to meet the client's objectives?
- Establish design quality indicators (DQI's) appropriate to the project.
- Identify the project decision makers.
 Plan of work stage 1: Initial project brief.
- Feasibility studies are undertaken to test the strategic brief.
- Spatial aspects of the brief are developed.
- Iterative cost appraisal is undertaken.
- Statutory and environmental constraints are considered.
- The programme intentions are established.
- The organisational structure is defined.
- Technical, managerial and design intent are established.
The initial project brief should be formalised as it will form the basis of work for stage 2.
 Plan of work stage 2: Final project brief.
- Requirements are tested, costed and confirmed.
- The final project brief clarifies; use, accommodation, technical requirements, quality, environmental aspirations, cost and programme.
- It provides a framework for developing the project.
- It acts as a quality management tool.
- The final project brief is agreed and signed off by the client.
- The brief is frozen.
- Change control procedures are introduced.
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