The production of a Design Management Plan (DMP) is often one of the first tasks that we undertake in the role of Design Manager. It is an essential tool for the Lead Designer to establish the expected design team’s operational procedures that ensure the Architect can lead and manage the design process as best possible.
Procedures within the DMP are meant to reflect best practice and must be developed in conjunction with the Project Manager’s Project Execution Plan (PEP). The two documents should not overlap but dovetail appropriately.
As a minimum, a DMP will outline the following:
An overview of the project from a Design Team perspective;
An overview of team structure including roles and responsibilities and key points of contact;
An internal framework of communication through the duration of the project.
Clear systems, processes and guidance on best practice.
The DMP will achieve this through the inclusion of explanatory diagrams, and proforma templates which form the tools for use by the team during the design process. The DMP will address:
Team Organograms, clearly illustrating hierarchy and structure for:
Communication procedures (aided by augmented org charts)
Design Issue Trackers;
Request for Information forms & trackers;
Design Risk Registers;
Early Warning Notices & procedures;
Change Order Requests & procedures;
Design Stage Deliverables;
Information Exchange, including BIM requirements;
Progress Reporting; and
Health and Safety.
By defining the above in a clear and efficient manner, the Lead Designer ensures that they have established a set of procedures that will ensure they remain in control of the design process. These procedures serve to increase the efficiency of the design process to facilitate an environment for high quality design work.