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Design Performance Measurement in the Construction Sector: A Pilot Study

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    This paper examines the role and deployment of design performance measurements (DPMs) in the construction industry, focusing on the consulting engineering sector, the design 'heart' of construction. Compared with manufacturing, there has been very little research on the use of DPMs in construction, and firms often struggle to find appropriate performance indicators. Using results from structured questionnaires, the paper shows that the few DPMs which do exist focus mainly on cost. Other measures are needed to address quality, innovative performance and client satisfaction. In contrast to manufacturing, DPMs in construction also need to address the project-based, multi-firm and non-routine nature of construction design, as well as the separation of design from manufacturing, build and operation. Interviews and workshops with industrialists were used to identify recent DPM practices in construction and combine these with lessons from other sectors. The resulting DPM tools provide guidance on how to: (a) integrate design into wider business processes in construction; (b) identify key design indicators, at both project and firm level; and (c) use DPMs to provide a balanced scorecard for design performance.

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    Paper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 66.

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    Length: 47 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
    Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:66
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    1. Barlow, James, 2000. "Innovation and learning in complex offshore construction projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 973-989, August.
    2. Neely, Andy & Mills, John & Platts, Ken & Gregory, Mike & Richards, Huw, 1996. "Performance measurement system design: Should process based approaches be adopted?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 423-431, December.
    3. Pisano, Gary P., 1996. "Learning-before-doing in the development of new process technology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1097-1119, October.
    4. Walsh, Vivien, 1996. "Design, innovation and the boundaries of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 509-529, June.
    5. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    6. Henderson, Rebecca. & Cockburn, Iain., 1994. "Measuring competence? : exploring firm effects in pharmaceutical research," Working papers 3712-94., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    7. Pawar, Kulwant S. & Driva, Helen, 1999. "Performance measurement for product design and development in a manufacturing environment," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 61-68, April.
    8. Pistorius, C. W. I. & Utterback, J. M., 1997. "Multi-mode interaction among technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 67-84, March.
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