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Castell, L (2005) Empowering the client in the briefing process. In: Khosrowshahi, F (Ed.), Proceedings 21st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2005, London, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 319–30.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: client briefing; empowerment; project success
- ISBN/ISSN: 0 902896 93 8
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2005-0319-0330_Castell.pdf
Accurately identifying the client's requirements is essential for project success. They form part of the project charter and ultimately determine the project scope. However, in the construction industry the process of identifying client requirements, called client briefing, has not been particularly successful. In seeking a solution for the construction industry, Barrett and Stanley (1999) suggest empowering the client is one of the main areas for improving the briefing process. The aim of this paper is to assess both the current level of client empowerment in the briefing process and the extent to which project managers are assisting their clients to be more empowered. Literature from the areas of construction, health and general management has been reviewed to establish a list of empowering qualities and a survey undertaken of project managers to obtain their rating of client empowerment and levels of assistance being offered. Findings of the survey indicate that levels of client empowerment are low particularly in understanding the need for and setting project objectives, assertiveness and confidence and in understanding roles and responsibility in briefing. Whilst project managers are clearly offering assistance to their clients, the generally low level of client empowerment may be a significant contributor to the lack of success in client briefing.