Using Design Management to Win Design and Construct Tenders for Building and Infrastructure Projects

Design Management (DM) seeks to establish project management practices that are primarily focused on enhancing the design process. For Design and Construct (D&C)projects, the successful implementation of DM throughout the Tender bid preparation process can represent the difference between the winning and losing of the Contract.

D &C Contractors can win more projects if they can ensure that the Tender Design is effectively managed such that the Owner or Developer’s requirements are fully incorporated and that the process yields the required outcomes in terms of Quality, Timing, Cost and Value.

The design of a building is such a critical component of the overall bidding process that it needs dedicated DM to achieve the best results for the D & C Contractor. This DM needs to be implemented from the start of the Tender bid process and then throughout all the critical stages of the Tender bid process so that it lays a solid foundation on the award of the project.

This brief article outlines the critical stage by stage D & C Tender design process and the benefits a good Design Manager can bring to the Tender bid. The DM role is considered in this article in the context of an in-house or consultant D & C Contractor side Design Manager and is also on the basis of a Preliminary Performance Based Design to be completed by the D & C Contractor.

The following is a list of some challenges D & C Contractors have faced with managing the design component in their bids and subsequent completion of the design once awarded the tender if they do not implement proper DM processes and employ appropriately qualified Design Manager:

Lack of clarity of responsibility for design between Client, Contractor and design team

Poorly managed design leads to increased construction costs, changes, rework and programme delays

Poor design can penalise the Contractor’s bid affecting ability to win projects

Lack of reviews due to pressures of delivery and as such are not as efficient as they could be.

Client’s Brief is not followed in all respects

Team trying to reduce their own costs rather than reducing cost of construction

Design Managers not having the right experience

Poor change management