Successful projects need a reality check before finalizing the construction package. The best time for this reality check is typically at the 50% complete point in the design process. The design team will help establish allowance amounts for unselected items that will satisfy the client’s goals about quality without having to make all selections and designing all detail. The reality check results in a scope of work approval milestone we all need to agree to before moving on with overlaying detail on the design and If the project is over budget, we can agree to a strategy to make changes during the production of final drawings to change the scope to agree with a price.
Tactics to come back to reality:
Agree to a strategy for making changes during the production of final drawings. This will help keep the scope agreeing with the desired price.
Agree to how the project can be phased.
Redesign to eliminate scope creep.
Change the reality; maybe the client wants to pay for reality of what the approved design costs.
While none of the tactics to come back to reality are fun, they are exceedingly better than having a reality check during construction when delays effect more than just the schedule and design fees.