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Managing wicked design commissions
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design: Design for Harmonies / [ed] Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan Venkataraman, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, Seoul, Korea, 2013, -40 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Design is a core technical and creative activity for innovation. Design consultancy companies make a business out of taking on ill structured development work. Uncertainty is an integral part of this kind of fuzzy front end (FFE) development; the need for information and knowledge is to a large extent unknown and possible difficulties on the way is yet to be encountered.The objective of this paper is to describe how commissioned FFE work may be managed in order to mitigate uncertainty. The basis for the article is a comparative case study at two design consultancy firms. One of the companies have structured and standardized their work process in order to reduce uncertainty about what to do in a commission. Simultaneously, the process functions as a guarantee that they will reach an unknown but acceptable output.The other company initiates their projects by first of all defining product characteristics that are crucial for business success. This product definition then functions as a beacon during the consecutive development; it reduces uncertainty of what output to reach whilst letting the team decide on the unique route for each commission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Seoul, Korea, 2013. -40 p.
Keyword [en]
uncertainty, ambiguity, FFE, design practice, design management
National Category
Business Administration Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-128509ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84897604473ISBN: 978-1-904670-46-9OAI: diva2:647695
19th International Conference on Engineering Design
Kreativ på beställningKonkurrenskraftigt tjänstearbete (KUTA)Competitive service work (KUTA)

The publication has been recognized with the award "Reviewers' favourite". "Reviewers favourite" is awarded the top 10% articles of the conference's more than 300 accepted submissions. QC 20140312

Available from: 2013-09-12 Created: 2013-09-12 Last updated: 2014-03-12Bibliographically approved

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