Loughborough University
Thesis-2003-Bibby.pdf (2.52 MB)

Improving design management techniques in construction

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posted on 2006-02-10, 12:40 authored by Lee Bibby
Recent years has seen a significant drive away from traditional procurement routes with contractors finding themselves with an increasing responsibility for control of design - a process they have had little experience in managing. They now have to adapt accordingly. The learning curve is steep, not least because many projects must now be delivered fast track while co-ordinating increasingly complex fabric and content of buildings without a platform of accepted good practice to manage the design process. This is a major factor preventing the UK construction industry from delivering projects on time, to budget and to the specified quality. There is a need to educate an increasing number of people in design management techniques to equip them to manage today’s fast moving and demanding projects. However, many current design management tools are insufficiently developed for industry application. Therefore, to improve design management in the industry, current techniques must be modified to align them with the needs of the modern design manager. This research has developed and tested a training initiative aimed at improving design management practice within a major UK Design and Construct Contractor. It comprises a Design Management Handbook, Design Management Training, Team Support and Project Monitoring. The Design Management Handbook is the core of the training initiative. It addresses critical aspects of design management practice and provides design management tools. Training provides guidance to project teams on the tools and practices. In Team Support project teams are supported in the implementation of the new practices and tools to help embed new ways of working in company practice. Project Monitoring establishes the impact of the new practices on project performance to demonstrate that they are working and thus reinforce change. To establish the training initiative’s effectiveness and key findings, the impact of the initiative on design management performance has been explored. The research has established which practices and tools were used, which were not, as well as an understanding the applicability and performance of each Handbook practice and tool. From this, barriers to implementing new design management tools in industry were identified and strategies developed in order to overcome such barriers.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)


© Lee Bibby

Publication date



A Dissertation Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Engineering Doctorate (EngD) of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en

Qualification name

  • EngD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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