The management requirements: what causes uncertainty in integrated design approaches

Vedran Zerjav, Timo Hartmann, Hans Boes

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    Abstract

    Although a substantial amount of literature advocates the integrated collaborative design processes for construction projects, very little explicit knowledge exists about the impact of the integrated processes on project uncertainty. In contrast with construction site processes, which can in most cases be organized as a sequence of tasks mutually interlinked by technological interconnections, design is a highly interdependent and iterative process that needs different management approaches. To manage the complex interdependencies of design, managers need to make sense of how far-reaching the impact of addressing a particular requirement will be on project outcomes.
    By using the theoretical dichotomy of wicked and tame problems, this paper conducts a study on a design and engineering mega-project to induce the shortcomings of traditional project management applied to complex design problems. This study develops a cognitive map of how a requirement propagates through the entire scope of an ill-structured design problem and contends that the traditional design management techniques do not capture the ill-structure of the design sufficiently. The paper finally develops a list of theoretical propositions and an accompanying set of practical recommendations that are based on the notion that design should be managed on the basis of distinguishing between wicked and tame parts of the problem. The study contributes to design management literature with an early normative framework for managing complex construction design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMISBE2011
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the international conference on management and innovation for a sustainable built environment, 19-23 June 2011, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    EditorsJ.W.F. Wamelink, R.P. Geraedts, L. Volker
    Place of PublicationDelft, the Netherlands
    PublisherDelft University of Technology
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Print)9789052693958
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2011
    EventInternational Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment, MISBE 2011 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 19 Jun 201123 Jun 2011

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment, MISBE 2011
    Abbreviated titleMISBE
    CountryNetherlands
    CityAmsterdam
    Period19/06/1123/06/11

    Keywords

    • Construction design
    • Requirements management
    • Systems thinking
    • Uncertainty
    • Sensemaking

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