Initial Client Project Meeting

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The successful project combines an optimal design solution with an acceptable cost.

The decision-making process for a construction project is a continual balancing act between content and budget. There are many options involved with each facet of the design solution, be it an academic requirement, a mechanical necessity, an environmental concern or one of a host of other issues—each option has an associated cost. 

Preparation for the first meeting

To ensure a productive first meeting with your project manager, here are a few tips for your preparation.

Determine your "ultimate decision maker"

  • Who needs to authorize your project?
  • Are they able to attend? If not, consider rescheduling or making arrangement


  • Identify stakeholders who are affected by project (e.g. staff, student)
  • Any concerns or considerations?


  • Who will be at the meeting? Your point person?
  • Preference of contact
  • Availability for future meetings


  • How much are you able to spend? Range? Restrictions?
  • What would you like? Minimum? Maximum?


  • Desired start/end?
  • Considerations with occupants?

Your review of the questions above will help the project manager run an effective meeting that will result in project budget and authorization to get your project started.

What happens during the first meeting?

  • Assessment of project
  • Define preliminary:
    • Scope:
      • Continue with Design Phase or Feasibility Study depending on maturity of project scope
      • The budget for the subsequent phase will be based on this meeting. Thus, scope deviations throughout the project may require budget adjustments.
    • Budget
    • Schedule