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Author: O’ Donnell, Francis J
Supervisor: Duffy, Alex H. B.
Institution: University of Strathclyde, Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
The continual strive to improve performance in business processes attracts increasing attention in research. The impact of design development performance on the overall business positions this area as an important performance improvement opportunity. However, design development is characterised by novelty, uniqueness and non-repeatability, which provides particular challenges in defining, measuring and managing its performance to achieve improvement.
This thesis explores the support provided by both general research in business process performance, and design research, for supporting performance improvement in design development. The nature of design development is further revealed and requirements for its modelling and analysis to achieve improvement are established.
A methodology for modelling and analysis of performance in design development is established in this research which encapsulates a formalism of performance and an approach for its analysis. The formalism is composed of three models, which capture the nature of design development performance and support its measurement and management. The E2 model formalises and relates the key elements of performance, i.e. efficiency and effectiveness. The Design Activity Management (DAM) model distinguishes design and design management activities in terms of the knowledge processed, while the Performance Measurement and Management (PMM) model describes how these activities relate within a process of measuring and managing performance. The PERFORM approach is defined as a means to analyse an aspect of performance, effectiveness, and the influence of resources on that aspect. A computer based tool is developed to support its implementation in industry and provides the capability to identify appropriate means to improve performance.
The overall methodology is evaluated using a number of approaches addressing different elements. The evaluation highlights how the methodology addresses requirements for modelling and analysing design development performance to achieve improvement. Strengths and weaknesses are revealed and further work building on this research is discussed.