Application of Design Rationale Systems to Project Definition – Establishing a Research Project

Michael Whelton1, Glenn Ballard2 & Iris Tommelein3

1Ph.D. Student, Construction Engineering & Management Program, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA, mwhelton@uclink4.berkeley.edu
2Adjunct Associate Professor, Construction Engineering & Management Program, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, USA, ballard@ce.berkeley.edu
3Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Department, 215-A McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, 510/643-8678, FAX 510/643-8919, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu

Abstract

Better design decision management is possible through the use of lean production planning and control techniques, group decision-making, and knowledge management tools. Central to the success of these tools is the capture and timely management of the design rationale underlying design decisions. This research views design as a collaborative decision-making process, and highlights the need for supporting group technologies. The literature is summarized regarding relevant design processes, decision models and group support systems available to designers. Design viewed as an explicit decision making process is discussed and background research on group decision-making is documented. This paper also explores the benefits of employing design rationale systems to promote quality design assignments, value generation, and team learning among project stakeholders. A need for understanding the interfaces of design process, group decision-making and information technology support is established. A research model is proposed to integrate design rationale management with design process planning and control for the project definition phase of project delivery.

Keywords

Collaboration, design rationale systems, group decision-making, knowledge management, lean design, organizational learning, project definition,

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Reference

Whelton, M. , Ballard, G. & Tommelein, I. 2001, 'Application of Design Rationale Systems to Project Definition – Establishing a Research Project' In:, Ballard, G. & Chua, D., 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Singapore, Singapore, 6-8 Aug 2001.

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