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Collaborative Evaluation of Design Concepts

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Andreas BENKER and Wycliffe RADUMA


The purpose of this study is to explore the possibilities and constraints of
applying the quality function deployment (QFD) method during the early
phases of a product development process in order to facilitate collaborative
design concept evaluation.


We investigated the potential of utilizing the QFD method throughout an
iterative design process without introducing too much complexity to the agile
development process through participatory action research. As active
members of a product development team that works on a specific system
component of a complex medical device, we were able to probe and further
develop a QFD-based method in practice. Two separate experiments were
conducted to test the applicability of QFD to facilitate the evaluation of
different design concepts.


This study highlights how the QFD method allows for communicating design
concepts across different functions and partly facilitates the evaluation of
design concepts during the early product development stages. It also presents
the benefits and limitations of the QFD-based method we developed and
tested in practice throughout this study. The study concludes with
suggestions how the method can be further developed to better manage
design concept evaluations in the future.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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