Fig 1 shows a bar chart indicating the normal, classical design programme as given in the RIBA plan of works. This process is essentially linear, even though in practice it moves in progressive spirals within which decisions at one stage make it necessary to reconsider and refine decisions that were made earlier. The plan of work presumes a briefing stage (A and B), followed by the sketch plan stage which includes the town planning application at stage D. These are followed by working drawing stage which incorporates refinement of the design, sufficient detailing for quantities to be taken off, application for building regulations approval and, subsequently, the normal process of tendering, assessment of tenders, the placing of the contract and its execution. By and large subcontracts await appointment of the main contractor. I want to highlight three steps in particular that determine the time taken to get the design to tender stage.