AN INVESTIGATION OF DESIGN PROCESS CHANGES
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Srinivasan Venkataraman
Author: Shapiro, Daniel; Sommer, Anita Friis; Clarkson, Peter John
Institution: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Design Processes
Research on changes in design has focused on engineering changes, i.e. changes in the product domain, which is the manifestation of the design process. This article takes a different perspective and investigates changes in the process domain, which is characterised by the coordinated execution of design activities with complex interdependencies. Design process changes (DPCs) comprise various types of perturbations, e.g., delays in activities, changes in customer requirements on design parameters or the addition of new activities to the process plan. This article derives a definition for DPCs, investigates their characteristics, including reasons, types and consequences, and examines existing methods to model and manage DPCs. The research is based on a systematic literature review, which is supported through an on-going industrial case study. Given both the frequent occurrence and potentially severe impacts of DPCs on process performance a set of substantial research gaps are identified and promising directions for future research on DPCs are derived.