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How Process Affects Performance: An Analysis of Student Design Productivity

[+] Author Affiliations
Ramon Costa, Durward K. Sobek, II

Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Paper No. DETC2004-57274, pp. 137-143; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


In this paper, we analyze journal data from twelve student projects to help identify design processes that achieve higher quality in less time. Journal data are coded for the number of engineering hours spent on different design activities at three design levels. Each project’s outcome is independently assessed for client satisfaction and design quality. We use factor analysis to group common variability into factors. A multivariate linear regression model of three factors explains 91% of productivity variance within the study sample. The factor scoring coefficients are then used to translate the regression model coefficients back to activities and design levels. Results indicate that generating ideas and defining the problem at a system level are the key discriminating variables between more or less productive design teams in our sample, while conceptual design at the front end and detail-level work at the back end are not associated with productivity.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Design , Students



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