Optimization of early project phases and project developments of the city of Dortmund

The city of Dortmund spends around €70-90 million annually on building construction measures that are developed and carried out across two administrative departments. The project development process is highly complex and demanding: all projects always involve several stakeholders; the requirements can usually be met in many different ways with different advantages and disadvantages, whereby not only technical and financial but also strategic aspects have to be taken into account. Experiences of completed projects had often shown in retrospect that even good concepts of carefully designed projects would have had considerable potential for optimization. And that the earlier a building project and options for solutions were considered holistically, the higher the positive impact on life cycle costs.



The aim of the project was to enable the city of Dortmund to develop structurally and systematically better project developments for all types of requirements and municipal needs. After implementation and roll-out of the the optimization project, an average of 2-4% of the total project and life cycle costs are projected to be saved without reducing quality. For the city of Dortmund, this means a potential of around €4 million in structural savings per year.



The task was to develop new processes for project phase 0 (requirement planning) that could be applied to all requirements and projects. We call this procedure strategic needs assessment (in German "strategische Bedarfsermittlung – SBE"). The SBE consists of a systematized and holistic process as well as concrete instruments and tools for the project managers.

The SBE is a systematic, logical and methodical approach that brings together the various know-how carriers and perspectives in a structured way. This enables them to ask the right questions at the right time using defined sub-processes and tools, create transparency, develop ideas for project options and avoid mistakes.

The target process, developed in close cooperation with the city's administration departments involved, is interdisciplinary and involves all relevant stakeholders. The aim of every SBE is always to identify, develop and define the "best possible" project development option. The best possible project development is the one in which the city's needs for well usable and sustainable buildings and spaces are met with optimized use of funds, taking into account the users, the financial framework, life cycle costs, ecology and other strategic, qualitative and quantitative aspects.


Result / Added Value

From the end of 2017 to mid-2018 the BÜRO DR. VOGEL GMBH developed a solution tailored to the specific requirements in close cooperation with the involved municipal departments of the city of Dortmund. The target process we developed, which we broke down into concrete and clearly defined sub-steps, and the tools we created in the course of the project, provide Dortmund with all the foundations for identifying and defining the best possible project developments in a plannable and replicable manner. Another component of the project was the creation of a tool to precisely measure and quantify the success of the project developments optimized by the SBE. A reliable estimation of the effects on investments, life cycle costs and capacity requirements shows that additional expenditure in the project phase 0 (project development) will in many cases provide a huge return. This applies even more to the costs of the consulting project – a multiple of them can be recouped by a single medium-sized project optimized by the SBE.


Project Volume

On request