Construction: Rethinking Operational Stages

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In the last few decades, the quest for continuous improvement and innovation has led to the discovery of new approaches to best practice by different players in the construction industry in the United Kingdom. These efforts have been initiated with the view to increase understanding of the needs of key business areas as well as increase client, users and stakeholders' value. In this regard experts in the field of construction have proposed "rethinking of construction" (Egan 1998) by strategically rethinking operational stages in order to decrease cost and improve performance. One of these strategic operational stages, called the briefing process has perked the interests of the researcher in the course of producing a report on value management. During a research of a case study on ABC, the researcher has observed that without a clearly defined and articulated brief, the concept of "client value" can alter with each individual's perception. Such alterations can have a deep impact on the quality and the performance of construction projects.

A brief review of text books and reports reveal that construction excellence has not only become an option but a necessity, if the UK construction industry is to survive economics dynamics and changing social needs. Considering the industry is one of the pillars of the domestic economy making approximately 10 percent of GDP and employing considerable number of workers, it is important to note that construction excellence is critical for the UK economy and its future.

More importantly, the construction industry needs to improve itself in order to increase profitability, quality of deliverables and client needs before it can contribute to the economy. The purpose of this study is to show that, players must understand at the center of construction processes and activities is the client. Delivering value can only be initiated if players understand client needs. This is achievable through articulated briefing process. The brief is the critical communication point where clients and project management meet to transform ideas into reality. Value deliverables is accomplishable if this point of communication is contiguous, based on the same platform and management places the client at the center of the construction process.

Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research is to identify how value management concept can be integrated in the briefing process to articulate client requirements. More importantly the objective is to demonstrate that improved briefing can lead to value management throughout the project lifecycle and improve individual performance. Integrating value in briefing can result in high productivity, positive working environment and also ensure client satisfaction through timeliness, quality and value. Briefing therefore is the essence of partnering which experts in the field of construction have been promoting.

Brief Literature Review
The deteriorating condition of the construction industry during the 1960s through 1980s has led to major disputes and animosity between clients and constructors. With the rise of dispute resolution, legislators, management and players have forced them to reconsider their position and future. Constructing the Team by Sir Michael Latham in 1994 has proposed the industry to concentrate on standardization and improvement efforts through better guidance on best practice and simplification of dispute resolution. Latham is of the opinion that efficiency savings could lead to better achievements. And to achieve such efficiency communication, training and dispute resolution should be improved. At the core of the Latham report, one observes that better communication is inherent not only between clients and project managers but also with suppliers, contractors, workers, designers, engineers and architects - all contribute to increased efficiency.

Similarly, in Rethinking Construction by Sir John Egan (1998) Egan also identifies the...
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