Improving Design Management With Mutual Assessment

Vegard Knotten1, Fredrik Svalestuen2, Ola Lædre3 & Geir Hansen4

1PhD Candidate, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology /Veidekke, Trondheim, Norway, +4791842758, [email protected]
2PhD candidate, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology /Veidekke, Trondheim, Norway, +4798673172, [email protected]
3Associate Professor,, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, +4791189938, [email protected]
4Professor, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, +4795135520, [email protected]


The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry recognizes the understanding of the design process as a key to successful projects. With the background of Lean Construction efforts such as the Last Planner, Collaborative Planning in Design etc. the planning of the design process has improved significantly. A key part of Lean Construction is to involve the team in the planning and use metrics to check the results. Metrics and measurements in the AEC industry have traditionally focused on the performance of the project and not so much on the interpersonal relations of in the design team itself. In this paper, we elaborate on how the Mutual Assessment (MA) can help to improve the design process, by aligning the MA with experience and current relevant literature. Mutual Assessment (MA) is an approach for continuous improvement of the design team in a pre-planned setting. MA was developed by a Scandinavian contractor in order to improve client satisfaction. Through the use of a survey the design team evaluate each other, creating a common understanding of needed improvements. MA gives all major participants a chance to systematically assess the team, and creates room for dialogue and improvement. Improving the design teams helps align design and construction, and thereby to achieve success. The methodical approach of the research is a single case study, based on studied documents and semi-structured interviews with a large Scandinavian contractor. In addition, a literature review of metrics, design management and teams was carried out. The research is a qualitative study focusing on MA as an important tool for continuous improvement of the design team. The experiences from the case show that MA is an easy and accessible method to systematically improve the design team thus improving the design management process


Lean construction, continuous improvement, collaboration, mutual assessment



Knotten, V. , Svalestuen, F. , Lædre, O. & Hansen, G. 2016. Improving Design Management With Mutual Assessment, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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