In this post, we will talk about the owner’s project requirements. You will learn what OPR is, why it matters, and how understanding this term can help your business endeavors, so let’s get going.
What is Owner’s Project Requirements (ORP)?
Owner’s Project Requirements are the goal that the owner wants to achieve through the project. When this goal is reached, the owner is satisfied, and the project is a success.
This term is most often used in the construction and design fields. Understanding ORP in advance ensures that the expensive building project will meet all the requirements once finished, which will prevent later disputes and costly changes.
The concept of OPR can be applied to any business (and life) situation. Whenever you purchase something or hire someone, you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve, and that product or person is supposed to help you reach that goal. In fact, you based the decision on that presumption — you are choosing the person or the product because you believe they will be able to meet your requirements.
Why writing Owner’s Project Requirements document is important
You are probably not in the construction business, so you must be wondering why ORP matters, and how can you benefit from it? It matters a lot, and you can benefit in many ways, and in the next section, we will explain why writing an owner’s project requirements document is a good idea, especially for creative businesses.
Issues with Creative Services
At first, everything goes well — they reach out to you, ask you for your portfolio, love what they see, and they decide to order. However, once you deliver the work, they never seem to be happy and start asking more and more revisions. And even though you feel like you delivered a great job, and that the order meets their requirements, they still demand more work from you. Even worse, they usually refuse to pay for more revisions, as they feel like you haven’t delivered what was asked from you, even though you feel precisely the opposite.
This can result in an enormous amount of stress for both sides, and the relationship eventually breaks down once one of you decides that enough is enough. Not a pleasant situation, but quite common, and everyone in the creative field had something similar.
Pinpointing Client Requirements
Usually, clients are not malicious when they ask for revisions. They genuinely think you didn’t do what they wanted, which is why they ask for changes. They are not being malicious, but they are sometimes unreasonable, only looking after their own interest. So, what seems to be the problem?
The problem is that you haven’t asked the client for the necessary details in advance. In other words, the owner’s project requirements (or client’s project requirements) were not clear.
Because you didn’t fully understand their needs, all the hard work you did led you the wrong way, and the end result isn’t what the client was looking for. Unfortunately, because you went the wrong way, fixing things can be difficult, and sometimes the best solution is starting the whole project from scratch. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, you need to write an owner’s project requirements document.
Writing down the owner’s (client’s) project requirements before you start working on the project will remove any uncertainty. Having the owner’s project requirements document in written will safeguard both parties.
The client will know what he/she is going to get once you complete the work. You will know what exactly is expected from you while you do the job.
And if any later revision requests are unreasonable and not in line with the original ORPs, you can always call for that fact and show the document to the client. Then, if they agree, you will charge them for more revisions, as the ORP document will prove it is not your fault, they just didn’t give you the right requirements.
Owner’s Project Requirements Example — What To Put In The Document?
It would be best if you asked the client to define project success. Ask them what the desired outcome is, what they want you to achieve through your work. If met, these requirements alone will make them happy, and the project will be a success. Defining project goals is what OPR is, and all the other things we listed below are only there to further distinguish project success from failure.
You should specify what the price is, and also what exactly is included in that price. That will give clients peace of mind, as they will have a document that guarantees you will deliver quality work. On the other hand, you will have the same document that will list your services that the client agreed on, and you won’t have to do any additional work outside of that.
Materials, Equipment, Tools And Other Extras
Depending on the type of services you provide, you can specify which materials, equipment, tools, or other extras are included in the project price.
For example, if you are a filmmaker, you can specify the video quality. 4k will require a different camera than HD video.
But, that doesn’t have to be limited to the physical equipment. If you provide digital marketing services, you can specify which tools you will use too. Different tools have different subscription plans, and some cost much more than the others. It is very important to highlight all of that in advance, and to explain to your clients what the differences between those tools are.
One of the first things you should clear out is the time-frame. This will pinpoint how much time you have to complete the project, but also what happens if the client asks for a revision. For example, you can write that you will finish the project in four weeks, but also that each revision will take you another week to complete.
The Number And Price Of Revisions
You should specify how many revisions are included in the original price, and also what each of these revisions implies. Furthermore, it would help if you determined how much each additional revision will cost, and also what the maximal number of revisions is. This will prevent clients from continuing to ask for more and more changes. When they know that they need to pay for each new revision, they will behave differently.
As you can see, defining OPR is useful even if your business has nothing to do with construction. Asking your clients about the project success metrics in advance is a great way to guard yourself against any potential issues that might come up later, but is also great for your clients to ensure you deliver a project that meets their requirements every single time.
Having a contract with all the details and expectations listed is a smart way to do business, and any freelancer or agency that provides creative services should think about implementing OPR in their business workflow today.