We Need a Universal Design Project Outcome Performance Measurement Metric: A Discussion Based on Empirical Research

DS 58-6: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 6, Design Methods and Tools (pt. 2), Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Skogstad, Philipp; Steinert, Martin; Gumerlock, Karl; Leifer, Larry
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Page(s): 473-484

Abstract

This paper aims to contribute and channel a discussion on the need for a universal outcome performance measurement for design projects. After introducing the problem verbally, an example situation of a missing universal success metric is given based on research in the context of a project-based engineering curriculum. The lack of such metric poses two problems: 1) when facing the choice between design projects of fundamentally different nature and industries, enterprises make suboptimal resource allocation decisions; 2) since a general common denominator in form of a success metric is missing, current design research is restricted to analyzing and comparing similar design projects. Currently there is no agreement on a general construct or variable that defines and measures the success of design projects. Hence a universally accepted dependent variable may be needed in order to create, test and verify/falsify hypotheses and theories through methods such as meta-analyses.

Keywords: design metrics, performance measurement and evaluation, inter project comparison, engineering design education

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