Risk-Driven Design Processes: Balancing Efficiency with Resilience in Product Design
Author(s)Oehmen, Josef; Seering, Warren
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Current design methods and approaches focus on increasing the efficiency of the product design system by, for example, eliminating waste and focusing on value creation. However, continuing failures in the development of complex, large scale products and systems point towards weaknesses in the existing approaches. We argue that product development organizations are hindered by the many uncertainties that are inherent in the process. Common management heuristics ignore uncertainty and thus overly simplify the decision making process. Creating transparency regarding uncertainties and the associated risks (i.e. effect of uncertainties on design objectives) is not seen as an explicit priority. Consequently organizations are unable to balance risk and return in their development choices. Product development processes do not emphasize reduction of risks, particularly those risks that are apparent early in the process. In addition, the resilience of the PD system, i.e. its ability to deliver on-target results under uncertainty, is not deliberately designed to match the level of residual uncertainty. This chapter introduces the notion of Risk-Driven Design and its four principles of 1. Creating transparency regarding design risks; 2. Risk-driven decision making; 3. Minimizing uncertainty; and 4. Creating resilience.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
The Future of Design Methodology
Oehmen, J., and W. Seering. "Risk-Driven Design Processes: Balancing Efficiency with Resilience in Product Design." The Future of Design Methodology. Ed. Herbert Birkhofer. 44-54. Springer-Verlag, 2011.
Author's final manuscript