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Engineering Design: A Project-Based Introduction, Fourth Edition by Elizabeth Orwin, Patrick Little, Clive L. Dym

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CHAPTER 15

DESIGN TEAM DYNAMICS

We can do this together, as a team!

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WHILE INDIVIDUAL skills and personal responsibility are essential for success, the ability to work with others is a highly valued talent in successful design organizations. In this chapter, we examine how teams are transformed from a set of individuals into a group that can realize project goals. We also look at how teams can manage the conflict that almost inevitably arises when people work together.

15.1 FORMING DESIGN TEAMS

Design is an activity that is increasingly done by teams rather than by individuals acting alone. For example, product development teams include designers, manufacturing engineers, and marketing experts. These teams are assembled to bring together the diverse skills, experiences, and viewpoints needed to design, manufacture, and sell new products successfully. This dependence on teams is not surprising if we reflect on the design process (and its various stages) and design tools we have discussed in this book: Many of the activities and methods are devoted to achieving and acting on a common understanding of a design issue. Consider, for example, the difference between testing a structure in a laboratory and analyzing it with a computer model. While both activities require knowledge of structural mechanics, years of investment are required to master either the specific testing and laboratory ...

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