- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 27 Aug 2018
Client for building design and construction
The client is also sometimes referred to as the:
|Private sector||Public sector|
|Main board of directors.||Investment decision maker (IDM).|
|Project director.||Senior responsible owner (SRO).|
|Board representative.||Project sponsor (PS).|
|Project board.||Project board.|
|User panels.||User panels.|
|Champions (perhaps heads of department).||Champions.|
|Project manager.||Project manager.|
It is important that the allocation of responsibilities between members of the client team is clearly defined.
For smaller or less complex projects, some roles may be combined. However, on public projects it is not good practice to combine the roles of investment decision maker, senior responsible owner and project sponsor because of the risk of a conflict of interest. Roles that do not overlap should not be combined.
On public sector projects, OGC guidance shows the relationship between the client and the integrated supply team (designers, suppliers, contractors) as illustrated below (image reproduced from with permission from OGC). NB The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) was absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office and it's guidance archived, however much of the same terminology and procedures are still used in public sector procurement.
Client champions may be identified and given ownership of specific components of the project. This could include a champion for the vision, for change management, for communications and so on. These champions may need input and assistance from many other individuals throughout the client organisation. In encouraging this input it is vital that people understand the project's significance its potential impact on their future.
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, and rewards for individuals need to come out of project success, rather than just being linked to their normal day job. Because of this additional role, they may need extra support and guidance to help them to focus on the key issues and to make best use of their time.
The CDM regulations define 'domestic clients' as '... people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is not done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.'
NRM1: Order of cost estimating and cost planning for capital building work, gives the following definition of the employer; ‘…the owner and/or the developer of the building; in some cases the ultimate user. The terms Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) and Project Sponsor are used by central civil government and the defence sector; being the representatives empowered to manage the building project and make project specific decisions.’
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Domestic client.
- Efficiency and Reform Group.
- Independent client advisers.
- Integrated project team.
- Integrated supply team.
- Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT).
- OGC for full description of public sector roles and responsibilities in relation to construction.
- Project manager.
- User panels.
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