Advertisement

Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 251–270 | Cite as

Iterations as the result of social and technical factors: empirical evidence from a large-scale design project

  • Sebastiano A. PiccoloEmail author
  • Anja M. Maier
  • Sune Lehmann
  • Chris A. McMahon
Original Paper

Abstract

Understanding the role of iterations is an important topic within design research and design practice. Iterations often involve rework and thus often increased costs and completion time. Many theories and studies ascribe iterations either to the social or technical complexity of the design process. Here, we join the two perspectives by analysing metadata of more than 3000 documents produced during the design of a biomass power plant. We gain insights by using network analysis and by visualising the temporal unfolding of the design process. Subsequently, we develop a statistical model to rigorously test multiple hypotheses showing that iterations are a combination of technical and social factors. The paper shows that iterations increase when the number of stakeholders/participants increases and when external suppliers are involved. Iterations are lower in presence of integrative activities. Furthermore, the paper shows the existence of synergistic interactions between nodes’ in-going and out-going flow in both activity and team networks associated with an increase in iterations.

Keywords

Process architecture Organisational structure Iterations Stakeholder Modularity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the case company for their continued support. The work reported in this paper is part-funded by the EuroTech Universities Alliance programme, including the Technical University of Denmark and the Technical University of Munich. The exploratory data analysis contained in this paper has been presented at the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17) (Piccolo et al. 2017).

References

  1. Adler PS, Mandelbaum A, Nguyen V, Schwerer E (1995) From project to process management: an empirically-based framework for analyzing product development time. Manag Sci 41(3):458–484zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agreste S, De Meo P, Ferrara E, Piccolo S, Provetti A (2015) Analysis of a heterogeneous social network of humans and cultural objects. IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern Systems 45(4):559–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agreste S, De Meo P, Ferrara E, Piccolo S, Provetti A (2015) Trust networks: topology, dynamics, and measurements. IEEE Internet Comput 19(6):26–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson D, Burnham K, White G (1994) AIC model selection in overdispersed capture–recapture data. Ecology 75(6):1780–1793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Braha D, Bar-Yam Y (2007) The statistical mechanics of complex product development: empirical and analytical results. Manag Sci 53(7):1127–1145zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brody SD (2003) Measuring the effects of stakeholder participation on the quality of local plans based on the principles of collaborative ecosystem management. J Plan Educ Res 22(4):407–419.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X03022004007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Browning TR, Eppinger SD (2002) Modeling impacts of process architecture on cost and schedule risk in product development. IEEE Trans Eng Manag 49(4):428–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bucciarelli LL (1994) Designing engineers. The MIT Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Bucciarelli LL (2002) Between thought and object in engineering design. Des Stud 23(3):219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cataldo M, Herbsleb JD, Carley KM: Socio-technical congruence: a framework for assessing the impact of technical and work dependencies on software development productivity. In: Proceedings of the Second ACM-IEEE international symposium on Empirical software engineering and measurement, pp 2–11. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  11. Chen CH, Ling SF, Chen W (2003) Project scheduling for collaborative product development using DSM. Int J Proj Manag 21(4):291–299.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0263-7863(02)00023-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cho SH, Eppinger SD (2005) A simulation-based process model for managing complex design projects. IEEE Trans Eng Manag 52(3):316–328.  https://doi.org/10.1109/TEM.2005.850722 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clarkson PJ, Simons C, Eckert C (2004) Predicting change propagation in complex design. J Mech Des 126(5):788–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cleland D (2008) Project stakeholder management. Wiley, Oxford, pp 275–301.  https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470172353.ch13 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cockburn A, Highsmith J (2001) Agile software development, the people factor. Computer 34(11):131–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Colfer LJ, Baldwin CY (2016) The mirroring hypothesis: theory, evidence, and exceptions. Ind Corpor Change 25(5):709–738.  https://doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtw027 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Danese P, Filippini R (2010) Modularity and the impact on new product development time performance: Investigating the moderating effects of supplier involvement and interfunctional integration. Int J Oper Prod Manag 30(11):1191–1209.  https://doi.org/10.1108/01443571011087387 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dawson JF (2014) Moderation in management research: what, why, when, and how. J Bus Psychol 29(1):1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. De Meo P, Musial-Gabrys K, Rosaci D, Sarnè GM, Aroyo L (2017) Using centrality measures to predict helpfulness-based reputation in trust networks. ACM Trans Internet Technol 17(1):8Google Scholar
  20. Dhillon BS (1996) Engineering design: a modern approach. Richard D Irwin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Eckert C, Clarkson PJ, Zanker W (2004) Change and customisation in complex engineering domains. Res Eng Des 15(1):1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eppinger SD, Browning TR (2012) Design structure matrix methods and applications. The MIT Press, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Eppinger SD, Whitney DE, Smith RP, Gebala DA (1994) A model-based method for organizing tasks in product development. Res Eng Des 6(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ford DN, Sterman JD (2003) The Liar’s club: concealing rework in concurrent development. Concurr Eng 11(3):211–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Freeman RE (2010) Strategic management: a stakeholder approach. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ganzach Y (1997) Misleading interaction and curvilinear terms. Psychol Methods 2(3):235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Giffin M, de Weck O, Bounova G, Keller R, Eckert C, Clarkson PJ (2009) Change propagation analysis in complex technical systems. J Mech Des 131(8):081,001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gokpinar B, Hopp WJ, Iravani SM (2010) The impact of misalignment of organizational structure and product architecture on quality in complex product development. Manag Sci 56(3):468–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Goldschmidt G (2014) Linkography: unfolding the design process. The MIT Press, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goldschmidt G, Porter W (2004) Design representation. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gopsill J, Jones S, Snider C, Shi L, McMahon C, Hicks B (2014) Understanding the engineering design process through the evolution of engineering digital objects. In: 13th international design conference, DESIGN 2014. The Design SocietyGoogle Scholar
  32. Highsmith J, Cockburn A (2001) Agile software development: the business of innovation. Computer 34(9):120–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hoedemaker GM, Blackburn JD, Van Wassenhove LN (1999) Limits to concurrency. Decis Sci 30(1):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. ISO: ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems-requirements (2015)Google Scholar
  35. Kleinberg JM (1999) Authoritative sources in a hyperlinked environment. J ACM 46(5):604–632MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kolk A, Pinkse J (2006) Stakeholder mismanagement and corporate social responsibility crises. Eur Manag J 24(1):59–72.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2005.12.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kusiak A, Wang J (1993) Efficient organizing of design activities. Int J Prod Res 31(4):753–769.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00207549308956755 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Love PE, Edwards DJ, Watson H, Davis P (2010) Rework in civil infrastructure projects: determination of cost predictors. J Const Eng Manag 136(3):275–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lyneis JM, Ford DN (2007) System dynamics applied to project management: a survey, assessment, and directions for future research. Syst Dyn Res 23(2–3):157–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. MacCormack A, Baldwin C, Rusnak J (2012) Exploring the duality between product and organizational architectures: A test of the mirroring hypothesis. Res Policy 41(8):1309–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. MacCormack A, Rusnak J, Baldwin CY (2006) Exploring the structure of complex software designs: an empirical study of open source and proprietary code. Manag Sci 52(7):1015–1030CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. MacCormack A, Verganti R, Iansiti M (2001) Developing products on internet time: the anatomy of a flexible development process. Manag Sci 47(1):133–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Maier AM, Störrle H (2011) What are the characteristics of engineering design processes? In: Proceedings of the 18th international conference on engineering design (ICED11), vol 1, pp 188–198. The Design SocietyGoogle Scholar
  44. Meier C, Yassine AA, Browning TR (2007) Design process sequencing with competent genetic algorithms. J Mech Des 129(6):566–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mihm J, Loch C, Huchzermeier A (2003) Problem solving oscillations in complex engineering projects. Manag Sci 49(6):733–750.  https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.49.6.733.16021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mihm J, Loch CH, Wilkinson D, Huberman BA (2010) Hierarchical structure and search in complex organizations. Manag Sci 56(5):831–848.  https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1100.1148 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Miller GA (1956) The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychol Rev 63(2):81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nelder J, Wedderburn R (1972) Generalized linear models. J R Stat Soc Ser A (Gen) 135(5):370–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Newcombe R (2003) From client to project stakeholders: a stakeholder mapping approach. Constr Manag Econ 21(8):841–848.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0144619032000072137 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Olander S (2007) Stakeholder impact analysis in construction project management. Constr Manag Econ 25(3):277–287.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190600879125 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Parraguez P, Eppinger S, Maier A (2016) Characterizing design process interfaces as organization networks: insights for engineering systems management. Syst Eng 19(2):158–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Parraguez P, Eppinger SD, Maier AM (2015) Information flow through stages of complex engineering design projects: a dynamic network analysis approach. IEEE Trans Eng Manag 62(4):604–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pastor-Satorras R, Vespignani A (2001) Epidemic spreading in scale-free networks. Phys Rev Lett 86(14):3200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pastor-Satorras R, Vespignani A (2002) Immunization of complex networks. Phys Rev E 65(3):036,104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Piccolo S, Jørgensen S, Maier A (2017) Using data- and network science to reveal iterations and phase-transitions in the design process. In: 21st international conference on engineering design (ICED17), vol 2, pp 11–20. The Design SocietyGoogle Scholar
  56. Piccolo SA, Lehmann S, Maier A (2018) Design process robustness: a bipartite network analysis reveals the central importance of people. Des Sci 4:e1.  https://doi.org/10.1017/dsj.2017.32 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sanchez R, Mahoney JT (1996) Modularity, flexibility, and knowledge management in product and organization design. Strat Manag J 17(S2):63–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Simon HA (1991) Bounded rationality and organizational learning. Org Sci 2(1):125–134.  https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2.1.125 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Simon HA (1996) The sciences of the artificial. The MIT Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  60. Smith RP, Eppinger SD (1997) Identifying controlling features of engineering design iteration. Manag Sci 43(3):276–293zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Smith RP, Morrow JA (1999) Product development process modeling. Des Stud 20(3):237–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sosa M, Mihm J, Browning T (2011) Degree distribution and quality in complex engineered systems. J Mech Des 133(10):101,008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sosa ME, Eppinger SD, Rowles CM (2003) Identifying modular and integrative systems and their impact on design team interactions. J Mech Des 125(2):240–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sosa ME, Eppinger SD, Rowles CM (2004) The misalignment of product architecture and organizational structure in complex product development. Manag Sci 50(12):1674–1689.  https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1040.0289 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sosa ME, Eppinger SD, Rowles CM (2007) A network approach to define modularity of components in complex products. J Mech Des 129(11):1118–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sosa ME, Mihm J, Browning TR (2013) Linking cyclicality and product quality. Manuf Serv Oper Manag 15(3):473–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Steward DV (1981) The design structure system: a method for managing the design of complex systems. IEEE Trans Eng Manag EM–28:71–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Terwiesch C, Loch CH, Meyer AD (2002) Exchanging preliminary information in concurrent engineering: alternative coordination strategies. Org Sci 13(4):402–419CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thomke SH (1997) The role of flexibility in the development of new products: an empirical study. Res Policy 26(1):105–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Thuesen C, Hvam L (2011) Efficient on-site construction: learning points from a German platform for housing. Constr Innov 11(3):338–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ulrich K (1995) The role of product architecture in the manufacturing firm. Res Policy 24(3):419–440.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0048-7333(94)00775-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. van der Aalst WMP (2011) Process mining: discovery, conformance and enhancement of business processes, 1st edn. Springer, BerlinzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Van Wassenhove LN, Besiou M (2013) Complex problems with multiple stakeholders: how to bridge the gap between reality and OR/MS? J Bus Econ 83(1):87–97.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11573-012-0643-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Walden DD, Roedler GJ, Forsberg K, Hamelin RD, Shortell TM (2015) Systems engineering handbook: a guide for system life cycle processes and activities. Wiley, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  75. Wedderburn RW (1974) Quasi-likelihood functions, generalized linear models, and the Gauss–Newton method. Biometrika 61(3):439–447MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  76. Whysall P (2000) Stakeholder mismanagement in retailing: a British perspective. J Bus Ethics 23(1):19–28.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006266710132 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wynn DC, Eckert CM (2017) Perspectives on iteration in design and development. Res Eng Des 28(2):153–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yassine A, Joglekar N, Braha D, Eppinger S, Whitney D (2003) Information hiding in product development: the design Churn effect. Res Eng Des 14(3):145–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of Denmark, DTU Management EngineeringLyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.Technical University of Denmark, DTU ComputeLyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Technical University of Denmark, DTU Mechanical EngineeringLyngbyDenmark

Personalised recommendations