Project Planning and Initiation work is an essential part of Facilities Management processes. Campus Planning performs inception planning work that produces various deliverables for individual projects. These include Vision Statements and Project Charters, Project Statements, Key Parameters documents and Functional Programs. Each of these tools enable the institution to incrementally build consensus on the vision of a project and lend higher resolution to what is to be achieved. This work also does so at limited relative cost well in advance of making changes during construction when it is significantly more costly to do so. These documents also are the same deliverables architects and their design teams rely on to describe the building project while implementing the design process. This process places value and investment in formative work at the earliest stages of a project and is simply responsible planning.
The Project Statement
The initial planning work that initiates a potential project is the preparation of a short summary document called a Project Statement. This succinct document is assembled by planning representatives and communicates the preliminary project plan and describes a general overview of the project. This overview identifies project scope, budget allowances, timeline and related constraints at a very high level at a time when there is very little information to go on and when assumptions are based on seasoned planning experience.
Each Project Statement includes a Sponsor (usually a senior administrator) and a Stakeholder Lead to represent or "champion" the project. The statement is jointly prepared with the Stakeholder Lead (and sometimes others) until they are satisfied it represents the nature of the project.
All Project Statements are prepared by Campus Planning before a recommendation is made to senior administration. Not all statements transition to the implementation phases and become projects. Project Statements are implemented in due course, provided they meet the mandate of the institution or advance the campus master plan, subscribe to fundamental project requirements and garner the support of their related Sponsor. In order for preliminary plans to become an actual capital project they must have a committed funding source.