Last edited 30 Jan 2015

Champions for construction clients

It is important on all projects that there are designated client champions, '...to take responsibility for design quality throughout the project. This may be the departmental champion with a responsibility for all the organisation’s construction projects or an individual assigned the role specifically for the project (ref Achieving Excellence Guide 9 - Design Quality).

It can be appropriate to appoint a number of champions:

  • A senior design champion might be appointed to ensure that schemes do not proceed until they achieve an acceptable level of design quality.
  • A project-level design champion might become more involved in the detail of the design.
  • Special interest champions, might represent the interests of particularly important aspects of the project.

Special interest champions could be appointed to represent:

The role of champions might include:

It is important that design champions are appointed as soon as possible so that they can play a part in establishing the vision for the project. This will make them more likely to defend the vision.

Design champions do not need to have experience of construction projects, it is more important that their role is clearly defined and they are given the authority, time and support to enable them to perform this role. For many of those involved, the project will be a ‘parallel activity’ carried out in addition their day job. This means that their individual goals need to be re-aligned to include the project goals, rather than just being linked to their normal day job.

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