Group Decision Making in Design

  • Deborah L. Thurston


Part 1 deals with the problem of balancing conflicting objectives in group decision making. Several methods and their limitations are described, including matrix, voting, ranking, and rating schemes. Two analytic decision tools are presented; multiattribute utility analysis and the analytic hierarchy process. An example illustrates the problem of eliciting and aggregating individual preferences for managing a long range, multiple product design plan and schedule. The group includes engineering, manufacturing, marketing and environmental personnel. Part 2 deals with communication. Based on cognitive models of communication processes and failures, a method is presented for designing not the artifact, but the interdisciplinary design team itself. The objective is to minimize the expected effect of communication failures through failure modes and effects analysis.


Analytic Hierarchy Process Group Decision Design Team Critical Task Product Flaw 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

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  • Deborah L. Thurston

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