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Design System Assessment Tool

Abstract : In 2010, an exploratory survey focused on design methods, tools and techniques, was conducted in order to understand what type of design practices are used in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMES) located in Eastern Quebec. This study reveals that most SMEs declared using a structured design process while very few are regular users of structured Methods, sophisticated Tools, or specialized design Techniques (MTT). Because the results suggest that the design process in SMEs is not as structured as could be expected a new research was launched. Specifically, the research objective consist to identify the most important determinants of design performance and to develop indicators for assessing the design process as well as the other dimensions of design projects. In this model, six dimensions describe what is called the design system: the environmental dimension, the human and techno-scientific axis, management, the design process and the product aspects. The Dimensions are evaluated using an assortment of variables (descriptors) to assess the “design system” of an organization. Each descriptor is related to the following issues: (i) the type of methods, tools and activities used by the organization, (ii) the importance of the descriptor according to the project success, (iii) the performance level of the organization in that matter and (iv) the involvement of the partners. The questionnaire has been tested and refined on a pilot basis by eight partners. In addition to the model and the questionnaire, the paper presents an overview of the survey results and it illustrates how the assessment tool can be used to identify the challenges that a company must face in order to improve its design practices. Finally, it exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the questionnaire and it identifies the improvements to be made before to use it as base of an observatory intended to measure and monitor the evolution of design practices of organizations.
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S. Gendron, J. Brousseau, A. Elouafi, B. Urli. Design System Assessment Tool. 9th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Jul 2012, Montreal, QC, Canada. pp.359-368, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-35758-9_32⟩. ⟨hal-01526135⟩

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