Last edited 29 Oct 2020

Investment decision maker for building design and construction

The government recommend that publicly-funded projects follow either private finance initiative, prime contracting or design and build procurement routes. These routes as described by the government are unusual in that they propose appointing an integrated supply team (designers, contractors, suppliers and facilities managers) after the project brief has been prepared, before design commences.

This means that the main decision to invest i.e. to appoint the integrated supply team, (gateway 3 of the OGC gateway review process) takes place before concept design or detailed design are prepared.

The investment decision maker (IDM) is the individual from within the client organisation that decides whether or not the proposed investment in the project should be made and then oversees senior management as they deliver the project. The role might be undertaken by an accounting officer or chief executive, or by a group such as a management board. The role might be at ministerial level if the project is significant.

The investment decision maker should assess the project at key points (gateways) in its development (See OGC Gateway Review for Programmes & Projects), and should not allow the project to proceed beyond these gateways unless they are satisfied that sufficient analysis has been carried out by the project team, with the appropriate advise, and that the analysis provides adequate justification for continued investment.

The investment decision maker considers the success of the project in relation to the overall business, and so the final decision to make the investment is made in the context of business drivers and benefits.

The OGC guidance explains when these gateways should take place and describes in detail the issues that should be considered at those gateways. At each gateway, the investment decision commissions a confidential, independent peer review (gateway review) and then decides whether or not to give approval for the project to proceed.

The position of the investment decision maker in relation to the rest of the project team is illustrated in OGC guidance as shown below.


Image reproduced courtesy of OGC.

NB The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has now been absorbed into the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) within the Cabinet Office. OGC guidance has been archived, however, it is cited in the Government Construction Strategy and the Common Minimum Standards, and links are provided to OGC documents from government websites such as the Major Projects Authority. The OGC gateway review process still provides one of the best and most comprehensive sets of guidance for public projects. It is for this reason that the project plan for public projects within Designing Buildings Wiki follows the OGC gateway review process.

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