Tracking productivity patterns in an engineering design project

DS 75-8: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.8: Design Education, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Berglund, Anders; Blackne, Johannes; Jansson, Niklas
Series: ICED
Institution: KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Page(s): 125-134
ISBN: 978-1-904670-51-3
ISSN:  2220-4334


This paper aims to analyze if self-evaluation of perceived productivity could help detect alarming patterns in time and stop projects from failing. The study is based on descriptive quantitative data that has been gathered continuously throughout a student engineering design project, highlighting three factors of influence; perceived productivity, perception of stage completion and work activity distribution. The productivity data was analyzed by detecting patterns in form of peaks or lows and combining the patterns with qualitative data from observations and documented work activities. Measurements were done on 33 occasions during the project where 280 individual answers for productivity (P) and completion (C) and 115 individual answers for work activity distribution were collected. The findings provide extraction of peak values and low values that enable tracking of critical incidents. Through an in-depth activity back-log each value was enriched with an understanding of what took place and its project consequences. Over time the recognized pattern helped the design team to become more proactive in activity precision and execution, resource allocation and process reflections.

Keywords: Perceived productivity, pattern, completion, measure, engineering design project


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