IMPROVING COMMUNICATION IN DESIGN: RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE LITERATURE
DS 68-7: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 7: Human Behaviour in Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Badke-Schaub, P.
Author: Maier, Anja M.; Doenmez, Denniz; Hepperle, Clemens; Kreimeyer, Matthias; Lindemann, Udo; Clarkson, P John
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
Communication permeates every aspect of an engineer’s work – from clarifying product specifications to shaping social ties. This paper offers an overview of recommendations from literature to improve communication within and among engineering teams. We assume communication problems are often the outcome of underlying factors and that it is fruitful to study and improve these influences. 24 factors considered in this paper, having been empirically elicited in prior research, include, e.g., availability of information about product specifications, roles and responsibilities, and overview of sequence of tasks. 120 recommendations to improve these factors in order to enable effective communication are collated from journal articles and textbooks published in the fields of engineering design, management science, sociology, and psychology. Recommendations include, for example, identify priorities through risk and bottleneck analysis, give clear descriptions and role expectations, and employ effective process modeling tools. Contributions of this paper are a list of recommendations for industry practitioners and an effort-benefit evaluation of individual recommendations.