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Understanding and Approaches to Informal Methods of Construction Design Management

Objectives

This Assignment aims to assess students’ understanding of the purpose and approaches to informal methods of construction design management introduced on the Module to enable them to make informed choices about design management in their own work circumstances.  


Objectives
More specifically, the Assignment will assess the following key learning outcomes: 
a)    An understanding of design dependencies involved in the development of significant work packages on construction projects.
b)    An appreciation of the range of possible approaches – and, in particular, more informal approaches – for the monitoring of design development at key project stages. 
c)    An ability to reflect on the usefulness of these approaches and thus to understand how they may be applied in the students’ own work circumstances.  


Task
The Assignment requires you to think about ‘informal’ ways of monitoring design development during the 2nd stage of a 2-stage Design and Build (D&B) project that complement the more formal Gateway and Design Review arrangements.  The specific focus is on the development and coordination of the cladding and curtain walling design for the case study project discussed in the sessions on Friday 19 November 2020.  


You need to review the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) completed in your Group in the Class Exercise on Friday 19 November for the case study project (copies of completed matrices are available in the Module pages on Blackboard), as well as the outcome of class discussions in that session.  On the basis of the class and group discussions, you must individually prepare a short (max 750 word) report that identifies the informal monitoring of design development for the cladding and curtain walling design that you believe needs to take place.

Your report should: 
A.    Explain the need for informal design monitoring as distinct from more formal monitoring;
B.    Explain the implications of the design dependencies identified on the DSM for the monitoring of the development of the cladding and curtain walling design for the case study project;
C.    Identify informal design monitoring methods that you think will be appropriate in this case, explain how they will work and why you think they will be effective. 


Assessment Criteria
The assignment will be assessed against your understanding of the informal monitoring of design development in the specific context of the case study project.  Specifically, your reflection on the class/group discussion on the Design Structure Matrix, the depth of your understanding of the need for design monitoring and the implications of design dependencies, and the strength of your reasoning for the informal methods you are proposing are the key assessment criteria.  

Assessment criteria    Weighting %
A.    Need: Your understanding of the need for informal design monitoring
B.    Dependencies: Your understanding of the implications of the design dependencies identified in the DSM for monitoring design development of the curtain walling and cladding design
C.    Methods and rationale: The informal methods you are proposing, how they will work and why you think they will be effective. 

While you may wish to follow up suggestions for further reading provided in the lectures to get a broader view of ways of monitoring design development, this assignment is not an exercise in the use of academic references.  When using reference material, please ensure that you cite it properly, using the Harvard System (see http://libguides.reading.ac.uk/citing-references) and provide a short list of references at the end of your report.  

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