The process of undertaking a review

Having a logical, clear and consistent process for undertaking design reviews is important to assist in achieving good design review outcomes.

Below is a possible way to resource the review of a design project
A Design Review Manager should resource the following:
1) Identify what design works will be undertaken on the project.
2) Understand what reviews need to be undertaken, when these need to be undertaken, and to what level of detail these need to be undertaken.
3) Identify appropriately skilled people to undertake the design. Generally this should include a Junior Reviewer, Senior Reviewer, and Review Manager, and potentially others such as a Project Manager or specialist. If there is more than one type of work being undertaken on a project, then each of these are likely to require review, and it may be necessary for these different works to be supplied to all reviewers as a package so that technical experts in different areas can review what other technical experts are undertaking and can try to meet the needs to have an integrative design rather than several independent design sets that don’t necessary coordinate with each other when the build phase, operate phase, maintain phase, or demolish and dispose phase come into effect.
4) Program the reviews to occur when necessary within the development of the design.
5) Ensure that the reviewer knows what to look for at each identified design review stage so as to maximise the chance of major errors being found early rather than towards the end of the project. For example:
a) At the 20% design review, focus on the design that can have a macroscopic effect on the project.
b) At the 80% design review, reconsider the design for any macroscopic errors, but consider as many of the microscopic errors as possible.
c) At the 100% design review, review to ensure there are no macroscopic errors, but heavily focus on the microscopic errors.
6) When each reviewer undertakes their review, make sure they undertake the review independent of any other reviewers so that the maximum number of errors can be identified by each reviewer. This also limits the amount of diversion of thought processes, and maximises the opportunity to identify gaps in the information provided.
7) When a review occurs have a process to undertake the review, for example:
a) Review the drawings and associated documents without any reminders or checklists to get a feel for the project. Note down any errors or corrections that need to occur. If you think that something does not look right, but are unable to quickly determine what the problem is, note your concerns on the plan and move on to the rest of the documentation
b) Utilise checklists that prompt you to consider common mistakes and/or issues that can be overlooked on a design and documentation. More information contained below.
c) Undertake a final review that looks at how all of the information coordinates and cooperates with each other. For example this can be between drawing sheet, between drawing sheets, and documents, standard model drawings, specifications, tender documentation, etc. How well does this information cross reference and are there any conflicts?
8) Gather together the different design reviewers (as practically as possible) and go through as a group about what review comments each reviewer had. This will allow all of the design reviewers to hear what others were thinking, what they were confused about with the information provided, what they thought was missing, how things could be improved, what errors occurred and any clarifications they needed associated with not knowing some technical aspects. Getting the designers to hear about these allows even the most experienced designer to gain insight into other ideas or new approaches and build up the overall knowledge of each individual in being able to assess designs and documentation. Improving this will improve the process when the reviewers undertake a review process the next time, and are likely to also improve the efficiency of undertaking a review.
9) Take all of the errors, omissions, etc and add these to a checklist in a way that enhances the experience of a reviewer when they undertake their next design review and need to utilise a design review checklist. This will take some time to initially get the list up to a useful standard. What you will find is as you build the checklist it will begin to cover more and more aspects and will become more and more valuable as part of the design review process.
10) Inform the designer and client of the errors that have occurred so that these can be corrected.