Laying the groundwork for a successful project
Any cultural facilities project begins with a vision: an idea sparked within an organization that is driven by a need – something about the status quo that needs to be altered in order to better serve your artistic or cultural mission. Whether you are thinking about a major expansion or just adding a much-needed room to your facility, these considerations are critical to the success of your project.
The objective of the Concept and Feasibility phase is to develop the project’s vision and mission, articulate the reasons for undertaking it, find effective solutions, and assess whether they are possible to achieve.
This phase is the most complex, non-linear, and important of all, especially for large projects. It establishes a critical baseline that you will refer to throughout the capital project process.
First, develop the Project Concept
- Examine and articulate your facilities needs and aspirations
- Develop their critical indicators
- Identify solutions that address your needs
Then, test the Feasibility of these solutions
- Against institutional, architectural, and fundraising parameters
- Within available budgets
- In response to stakeholder and community priorities
Also, develop the core team of people who will see the project through to completion – including:
- Executive staff
- Board leadership
- Key donors
- Community leaders
- Expert consultants and other outside help
Too often, especially in the arts where we are used to implementing ideas quickly on a shoestring budget, facilities projects go from initial idea right to design and construction without going through the other steps involved in project planning. In the Concept and Feasibility phase, critical choices are made that will guide decision-making and resource allocation for the duration of the effort.
Concept and Feasibility is the most important phase in the whole project – if rushed it can result in expensive mistakes that are hard to fix; when undertaken diligently, it lays a solid groundwork for a project’s success.
This post is also available in: French