DePlan: a tool for integrated design management

The iterative and information-intensive nature of the design process during detail design phases makes it hard to plan and schedule design work using computer tools for conventional project management. The success of design projects depends on the quality of the available information. Having the right information at the right time is crucial. This paper proposes DePlan as a method for integrated design management, i.e. for planning, scheduling, and controlling design activities during the detail design phase. DePlan integrates two techniques, namely ADePT (Analytical Design Planning Technique) andExtended WorkPlan Last Planner, each involving a software tool.. ADePT implements the dependency structure matrix (DSM) analysis method and helps identify the iterative processes and the planning strategy for managing them. Last Planner is a production management philosophy that focuses on scheduling and controlling design activities. Combined as DePlan, these techniques help planners generate quality plans, i.e., plans that express what is ready for execution by sequencing activities in the right order, identifying informational and resource requirements ahead of design execution, and by scheduling only activities that have met these requirements. This collaborative research has successfully developed the DePlan approach and associated computer software and tested them on a typical office building.