The single most powerful tool by which an organization can control the outcome of an accommodation project is a well thought out, realistic, and well articulated statement of project objectives and requirements. This is the basic purpose of a functional program and its primary output. Such a document, also referred to as a needs statement, functional plan, design brief, or architectural program, serves to define the design and planning problem and to demonstrate its rational basis to potential funding and approving agencies.

We prepare programs cognizant that they will play various roles:

The purpose is not to design the solution but rather to define the design problem.

The process we use relies on an appropriate involvement of the users themselves, consultation with audiences and stakeholders, involvement of outside content experts where appropriate, and coordination by competent and experienced programming consultants. We emphasize the capturing of the in-house knowledge and experience of the organization, as well as the perceptions of visitors and members; the preparation of the organization for meaningful participation in the review of development and design options; and the engagement (gaining the commitment) of the users and sponsors in the building project.