Civil engineering projects are characterized by complex products developed by teams of consultants who have been selected for their individual unique skills and knowledge. One of the central difficulties in the work of a design team is to achieve smooth and continuous flow of information. Phenomena such as bottlenecks, rework, large batches and long cycle times are common. We hypothesize that these adversely impact the teamwork and reduce the quality of their work. Tools developed to visualize the flows of information in the design process and a set of computed analytical measures designed to quantify the flows were applied to a sample set of 14 civil engineering projects that were part of a major airport construction project. The measures indicate the presence or absence of bottlenecks, rework, large batches and long cycle times. The degree of success of each of the design processes of the sample projects was recorded independently through a series of interviews with the various participants and stakeholders in the projects. Comparison between the occurrences of phenomena associated with poor information flow, on the one hand, and the degree of success of the detailed design phase of the projects, on the other, revealed a high degree of correlation.
Case studies, Design management, Information flow, Project management.
Thibelsky, E. & Sacks, R. 2010, 'The Relationship Between Information Flow and Project Success in Multi-Disciplinary Civil Engineering Design' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 140-150