My research focuses on the planning and management of product design projects, identifying what factors have the greatest influence over such plans and create models to describe the behaviour of that influence. Specifically, my research seeks to develop methods to identify, quantify and model the factors which influence the critical resources required for a product design project (typically this is person-hours, known as design effort) by capturing expert tacit knowledge. Using the insight attained, my research aims to develop resource prediction tools for product design projects, as such I have worked with a number of UK-based product design consultancies to model the factors specific to their design practices and have created models to aid in the planning of their projects.
Additionally, my research aims to identify additional uses of the insight gained through the application of the developed method, including the identification of opportunities for process improvement, project costing tool development and recommendation engines.
Although this research seems very specific, it in fact has the potential to be highly versatile, allowing for applications in a diverse range of industries and fields, in particular areas of unpredictability or limited past project records (i.e. disaster management, research management, etc.). I am keen to identify such other fields and engage with the organisations within them, offering the advantages of this research to them.