Revised design management guide published

Image of a design management meeting for BS 7000-4 story
The revised design management guide shares principles with ISO 9000 (Image: Snowingg |

The design management systems guide, BS 7000-4, has undergone a comprehensive revision, a decade after it was originally published, and has now been published by the BSI.

In contrast to its predecessor, the updated BS 7000-4 version focuses less on general observations and considerations. Instead, it places significant emphasis on key activities essential at crucial milestones during the design process, including critical information management needs where clients do not implement ISO 19650.

The primary goal of the update was to address the lack of standardisation in how organisations handle the design development process, according to Galliford Try digital lead John Ford, who chaired the panel that drafted the revision. Some organisations have well-established systems, while others lack a structured approach and rely on reactive, often inconsistent methods based on personal preferences and experience.

The revised BS 7000-4 provides guidance and clarity for establishing effective design management systems that can be replicated across projects, allowing for continuous improvement. These are principles shared by ISO 9000.

The guide is aimed at those in strategic positions within their organisations. It uses the typical agnostic terminology found in British and international standards. As such, experienced professionals may be required to help interpret the language and terminology that varies greatly across different sectors.

In addition, BS 7000-4 offers guidance on information management considerations for projects where ISO 19650 is not implemented. This is still common across private and some public sector projects. Good information management practices are fundamental to design management and are essential for those who manage the design process, or parts of it.

Focus on information management

Ford highlighted the guide’s insights and practical recommendations. “As a contributor to several industry standards, I emphasise the importance of focusing on the core requirements outlined in the guide, including those associated with information management, as they provide a solid foundation for effective design management to take place,” he said.

The reception has been positive so far. Several organisations have shown interest in updating their prequalification questions from the older 2013 version of the guide to the latest 2024 update. Ford added: “I would like to thank all of those who contributed to the development of BS 7000-4 over the past three years for giving up their valuable time to help produce the guide.”

The revised part of BS 7000 supersedes BS 7000‑4:2013, which is withdrawn.

This article was first published on BIMplus.

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