Although the concept of lean design management in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) is still evolving and open to debate, it has helped to emphasise the importance of value and waste to the design team. An essential element of lean design management is briefing. Briefing is the process by which clients express and articulate their desires, and from which the design team develop their design. From a design management perspective briefing is a crucial stage in which values are explored and value expressed; and a process that could be better managed to help eliminate uncertainty and waste in the design and construction phases. A comprehensive literature review found that, aspects of process waste relating to ineffective briefing appear to have been neglected to date, which stimulated the idea of rethinking the briefing process to address waste at its origin. The research exposed limitations with current approaches to briefing and identified the potential for change. Applying lean thinking to the briefing process, with emphasis on value and flow, appears to provide an alternative approach to the traditional methods. A conceptual lean briefing process model is introduced by the authors, using lean management principles to achieve best value from the briefing process. This work reports the outcome of the first phase of the on-going research that aims to investigate and analyse the application of lean management principles in the briefing process for lean design management implementation; and to explore its validity within Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) projects’ by looking at the theory and the application of lean design management. It is hoped that, this study followed by the outcome of the on-going research will contribute to the theoretical understanding and practical implementation of lean design management in AEC.
Briefing; information flow; lean design management; design process waste; value stream