Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Lee Bibby


Improving Design Management Techniques in Construction

Project Title

Improving Design Management techniques in Construction




Professor SA Austin
Dr NM Bouchlaghem

Mr Robert Hicks
Mr Peter M Deason

Director of Research:
Dr CJ Anumba

Research Period

1999 - 2003

Improving Design Management techniques in Construction


A number of reports (particularly Latham and Egan) have highlighted the poor performance of the industry and a need to change and "rethink" the construction process. Many problems affecting project performance are the result of poor management of the design process. Therefore, design management has significant potential for improving project performance.

Design management is a broad subject where much research already exists. The EngD research programme will require careful project definition to be rigorous, valuable and prevent duplication of any existing or ongoing work. Initial investigations should recognise that the Civil Engineering sector has significant scope for original research in the field of design management.

Aims and Objectives

To investigate knowledge gaps in design management processes and systems as applied in the construction industry.

•   To understand current design management practices in the construction industry;
•   To establish the presence and significance of knowledge gaps in design management processes and systems as applied in the construction industry;
•   Develop a framework for further research into a selected cluster of design management knowledge gaps.

Method and Current Status

A proposal for an initial study on "Knowledge Gaps in Understanding Design Management in the Construction Industry" has been developed. An initial high level literature search is being undertaken to identify key design management topics to build into a coherent cluster of (say 7) topics suitable for further research. The streamed topics will be investigated in more detail to verify research areas which are both worthy of an EngD Thesis and valuable to a company implementing design management.

nitial discussions are being undertaken with Kvaerner Technology Staff with the following objectives: i)improve researcher’s comprehension of KT objectives; ii)develop awareness and understanding of EngD research among KT staff; iii)develop commitment to success of EngD research among KT Staff; iv)determine major issues/challenges for the organisation within the context of design management. Further discussions are planned to gain a full understanding of the role of design management within the construction industry.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

•   Detailed understanding of current design management practices
•   Highlight presence and significance of design management knowledge gaps.
•   Detailed definition of the roles, interaction and importance of design management knowledge gaps.










Bibby, L., Austin, S.A. and Bouchlaghem, N.M., (2003). Defining an improvement plan to address design management practices within a UK construction company. IT in Architecture, International Journal Engineering and Construction, 1(1), pp. 57-66.

Bibby, L., Bouchlaghem, N.M. and Austin, S.A., (2003). Design management in practice: testing a training initiative to deliver tools and learning. Construction innovation: innovation process management, 3 (4), pp. 217-229.

Bibby, L., Bouchlaghem, N.M. and Austin, S.A., (2006). The impact of a design management training initiative on project performance. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 13 (1), pp. 7-26 [DOI:10.1108/09699980610646476].

Bibby, L., Bouchlaghem, N.M. And Austin, S.A., Performance Indicators for the Construction Design Process, The Impact of a Design Management Training Initiative on Project Performance, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 13(1), 2006, pp. 7-26,

Bibby, L., Bouchlaghem, N., an Austin, S., (2002). Delivering Learning and Tools to Improve Design Management in Practice. Proceedings of CIB Conference on Measurement and Management of Architectural Value in Performance-Based Buildings, Hong Kong, May.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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