Tips for Owners and Developers in Managing Design for a Successful Outcome

This brief article outlines 16 Tips for the Business Case Stage of the design process, the first of 7 stages in the design process. The Design Management role is considered in the context of an in-house or consultant Owner or Developer side Design Manager and is also on the basis of a fully documented Design and Construct only contract.

Design Management seeks to establish project management practices that are primarily focused on enhancing the design process. For Building projects the successful implementation of Design Management throughout the entire Project Life Cycle can represent the difference between the success and failure of a building project.

Owners and Developers can achieve superior outcomes for their Building projects if they can ensure that the project is effectively managed such that their requirements are fully incorporated into the project and that the process yields the required outcomes in terms of Quality, Timing, Cost and Value.

The conventional approach to the management of the design is through the project management process whereby the Design Management is simply considered as a component of the project management process, with design project managed in terms delivery to a programme schedule and cost plan. The management of the design itself is generally left to the designers with the lead consultant, typically the architect, taking control of the coordination process.

The design of a building is in fact such a critical component of the overall project management process that it needs dedicated management to achieve the best results for Owners and Developers. This Design Management needs to be implemented from the start of the Project Life Cycle and then throughout all the critical stages.

The Design Management overall responsibility should rest within the Owner or Developer’s Project Management team and not the Design team itself. The Design team will need to manage its own in-house design from technical perspective and undertake coordination as required however all under the careful supervision of the Owner or Developer’s Design Manager.

Business Case Stage- Design Report

Early involvement by a Design Manager to the Project Life Cycle is critical. The output from the Design Manager for the Business Case stage will be a Design Report that will directly feed into the Owner’s or Developer’s overall project Business Case.