Indicators of Design and Documentation Deficiency

Paul A. Tilley1, Adam Wyatt2 & Sherif Mohamed3

1 is a Construction Systems Researcher with the CSIRO, investigating issues relating to construction process re-engineering. He has extensive industry experience in construction planning, contract administration and project management.
2 is a Construction Scientist with the CSIRO, Division of Building, Construction and Engineering. His research interests include information management, planning and scheduling
3is a lecturer in construction engineering and management at Griffith University. His research interests include information management and simulation modeling.


In an ideal world, the design and documentation provided for construction projects would be complete, precise and unambiguous. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and quite often contractors are supplied with project documentation that is incomplete, conflicting or erroneous, thereby requiring revisions and clarifications to be provided by the designers. When this is the case, it is essential that the information be supplied to the contractor efficiently and without delay. The ‘Request For Information’ (RFI) process, where contractors and sub- contractors formally obtain information clarifications regarding the contract documents supplied, is very common throughout the Australian construction industry. This process is however, highly inefficient due to the non-value adding delays which occur in obtaining the necessary information. This paper proposes that an analysis of both the RFI process and the drawing registers can provide indicators of design and documentation deficiency and overall project performance. The paper assesses the changes in the number of drawings issued, defines and quantifies the main sources of RFIs and measures RFI response times. The results from a recent study of two construction projects are included and issues for further investigation are identified.


request for information, design and documentation deficiency, performance indicators



Tilley, P. A. , Wyatt, A. & Mohamed, S. 1997. Indicators of Design and Documentation Deficiency, 5th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 137-148.

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