The next time you initiate a project, try making it a team effort. All too often project scopes and tight budgets are developed in a silo or a vacuum. This can result in insufficient time and money to complete the project without serious difficulties.
The NCI Charrette System™ prescribes using a Project Start-up Intensive workshop as a collaborative team approach to scoping and budgeting. During this 1.5-day workshop, project sponsors and key partners collectively create project guiding principles, objectives and measures, and a stakeholder analysis. This sets the shared approach for the process. Next, they create an actual plan for the project process by completing a process roadmap and charrette schedule. These documents are then used to create a project budget. Very importantly, the resulting scope and budget are realistic and owned by the members of the project management team. This collaborative project start-up creates a focused team approach to project management that increases design quality while guiding it through the inevitable hurdles that the project will face during implementation.
For another view on charrette budgets, here is a quote from the new NCI publication,Duany on Charrettes: Notes from the Field, available now to all NCI members.