Effective feedback and systematic reflection in design cost estimating

David J Lowe, W Hughes (Editor)

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The use of an effective feedback system is considered to influence the quality of estimates. Similarly, it is held that a means of monitoring performance should be incorporated into any forecasting system. Moreover, on an individual basis, systematic reflection is considered crucial for effective experiential learning. It is suggested that only through some process of systematic reflection may a professional achieve growth and self-renewal. This paper examines the application of effective feedback systems and systematic reflection by early stage design cost estimators. The findings from a fully structured interview survey of experienced early stage design cost estimators (n = 84) and a questionnaire survey of student quantity surveyors (n = 331) are presented. Despite the recommendations of previous studies, many practitioners still have inadequate feedback systems. Many either did not systematically reflect on the outcomes of estimates, or used self-assessment as the sole means of evaluation. Also, practitioners had significantly lower Reflective Observation learning style scores when compared to the student sample, while their declared approach to learning exhibited a reluctance for self-assessment or self-appraisal. Finally, on an organizational basis both practitioners and student quantity surveyors gave a low rating to the provision of constructive feedback by the organization on their performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th Annual Conference, ARCOM,
EditorsW Hughes
Place of PublicationProceedings 14th Annual ARCOM Conference
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1998
EventAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, Reading, UK - University of Reading
Duration: 9 Sept 19989 Sept 1998


ConferenceAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, Reading, UK
CityUniversity of Reading
Internet address


  • quantity surveyors; design cost estimating; feedback systems; systematic reflection; experiential learning


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