On the Agenda of Design Management Research

Glenn Ballard1 & Lauri Koskela2

1Research Director, Lean Construction Institute, 4536 Fieldbrook Road, Oakland, CA 94619. Phone: 510/530-8656. E-mail: ballard@ce.berkeley.edu
2Senior Researcher, VTT Building Technology, P.O. Box 1801, FIN-02044 VTT, Finland. Phone: +358-9-456 4556. E-mail: lauri.koskela@vtt.fi


We propose an agenda for design management research. That agenda is based on a new conceptual foundation for operations management. Design processes can be conceived in at least three different ways: (1) as a process of converting inputs to outputs, (2) as a flow of materials and information through time and space, and (3) as a process of generating value for customers. All three conceptions are appropriate and necessary. However, the conversion model has been dominant in the AEC (architectural/engineering/construction) industry until very recently. We review current thinking and practice of design management, suggest fundamental hypotheses, then propose an agenda for design management research based on those hypotheses.


Design management, concurrent engineering, value management, project management



Ballard, G. & Koskela, L. 1998, 'On the Agenda of Design Management Research' In:, 6th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Guaruj√°, Brazil, 13-15 Aug 1998.

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