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Identify business need

At a glance

1.0 – Identify a business need

1.1 – Business defines high-level need


Workbook 1




Culture and activities

Tools and techniques

1.0 Identify a business need This is a question that needs a solution. It is the objective that will provide the business benefit if it is delivered. If it is defined in facility terms it has already been translated; for example “we need to establish a new branch in West London” is a business need, “build an office block for 50 people” is a solution, which can have a variety of alternatives (e.g. leasing space for an initial 20 with a growth option to 50 over 4 years).The industry is very adept at delivering solutions but the maximum benefit can only be attained by delivering the right solution at the right time and this can only be achieved by fully understanding the business need, its constraints and benefits. The RIBA Plan of Work (2013) incorporates a ‘Stage O’ entitled Strategic Definition. In this stage a project is strategically appraised and defined before a detailed brief is created. Please refer to the following guidance:

  • RIBA Job Book (9th edition) (2013). RIBA Publishing. ISBN: 9781859464960
  • Guide to Using the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. RIBA Publishing. ISBN: 9781859465042

The Building Down Barriers Toolkit, Tool A1, Developing the Strategic Brief is available from Constructing Excellence.

Useful reference: Building Down Barriers: A Guide to Construction Best Practice. Routledge ISBN: 978-0415289658

New models of procurement have been endorsed by government (2014) which all commence with this focus on the need. See page 8 of the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) model guide for how this works under IPI.

The IPI BIM roadmap has been developed under a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) funded project “Delivering more for less under the IPI model”.  The Roadmap shows how workflow under leading industry methods relate to the toolkit, each other and to the existing processes of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the sponsors of the inaugural IPI project.  The BIM Roadmap is hosted by TSB consortium members BSRIA.

New models of procurement have been endorsed by government (2014) which all commence with this focus on the need (  See page 8 of the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) model guide ( for how this works under IPI.

1.1 Business defines high-level need It is the responsibility of the client cluster to determine the business need to be delivered. Integrated Project Initiatives Ltd ( are the delivery organisation for the IPI model and can provide you with the necessary Independent Facilitation.
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    • Kevin Thomas on 8 July 2014 at 2:36 pm

    The roadmap was created by a consortium working under a TSB project “Delivering more for less under the IPI model”

    • Kevin Thomas on 21 January 2015 at 12:09 pm

    It is hoped the refreshed toolkit will help anyone working on an integrated project where collaborative working is going to be the norm. This particularly means the new models of procurement. We have added links to help those participating in the IPI model trials to understand the differences in this environment. We hope that those who are running the other models will also post content to help people trialling the their models.

  1. We need to update this with reference to PAS 1192-3, PAS 1192-4 and BS 8536 which are now available to help clients coordinate and describe what they need in a manner that is more easily managed by the delivery teams.

    The resulting Organisation Information Requirements and Asset Information Requirements provide the platform for the designs to be tested, changes in client requirements to be managed and for the finished facility to be assessed to ensure they satisfy the expressed need.

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