Incertitudes in design decisions: Impediments or instruments?

J. de Lange, E.J. Oude Luttikhuis, E. Lutters

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    In product development, reasoning based on information content progressively complements sheer process driven approaches. Here, the coherent set of design decisions is seen as the backbone that enables the design team to initiate, substantiate and assess the evolvement of development trajectories against the context and the requirement specification. Habitually, design decisions are seen as means to reduce uncertainty in development cycles, while implicitly disavowing or ignoring the elusivenesses of the decisions themselves. A different approach is taken here, by making the role of uncertainty, ambiguity, volatility and indeterminism in decision making explicit, both as concerns the underlying information and the process itself. For now, this does not yet overthrow the way in which products are developed, but it does substantiate an understanding of decision accuracy, reliability and sensitivity. With this, product developers are challenged to explicitly address design decisions by purposefully employing knowledge on the incertitudes inherent to product development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Competitive Manufacturing, COMA 2016
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings: Resource Efficiency for Global Competitiveness
    EditorsDimitri Dimitrov, Gert Adriaan Oosthuizen
    Place of PublicationStellenbosch
    PublisherStellenbosch University
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)978-0-7972-1602-0
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2016
    EventInternational Conference on Competitive Manufacturing, COMA 2016: Resource Efficiency for Global Competitiveness - Stellenbosch, South Africa
    Duration: 27 Jan 201629 Jan 2016


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Competitive Manufacturing, COMA 2016
    Abbreviated titleCOMA
    Country/TerritorySouth Africa


    • Design method
    • uncertainty
    • decision making


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