Performance measurement approach to contracting and delivering design services

Kenneth Sullivan, John K. Michael

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In a recent survey of clients and buyers of construction, the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) found that over 50% of design efforts finish behind or significantly behind schedule. Furthermore, it found that 70% of clients have seen the quality of design documents decrease over the past 10 years with 97% of clients agreeing that designers should be held more accountable for the quality of the designs that are delivered. This paper presents the research results of applying a new approach to contracting design professionals that enforces accountability and minimizes risk. The new approach theorizes that the inefficiencies in the design industry are because of the selection and contract management system used by most clients. The first 39 design project test results are presented, along with the evolution of the design delivery model. Key findings include the threat of political risk to change, the inability of most design professionals to address specific project risk, and the lack of preplanning evident in most design projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • Accountability
  • Best value
  • Construction management
  • Contracts
  • Design
  • Design services
  • Measurement
  • Performance characteristics
  • Performance measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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