Exploring differences between average and critical engineering changes: Survey results from Denmark

Stefan Langer, Anja Maier, J. Wilberg, T.J. Münch, U. Lindemann

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

    336 Downloads (Pure)


    Change or modification has always been a fundamental part of engineering design. Changes to a
    design are the rule and not the exception [Clark & Fujimoto 1991]. Engineering changes (ECs), as
    Jarratt et al. [2005] describe, are alterations made to parts, drawings or software that have already been
    released during the design process. Over the past decades, engineering change management has gained
    prominence in engineering design and product development literature, with a number of in-depth case
    studies (e.g. [Clarkson et al. 2004; Fricke et al. 2000; Giffin et al. 2009; Jarratt et al. 2010; Lindemann
    & Reichwald 1998; Loch & Terwiesch 1999; Vianello & Ahmed-Kristensen 2011]), industry surveys
    (e.g. [Deubzer et al. 2005; Huang & Mak 1999; Huang et al. 2003]), and reviews (e.g. [Ahmad et al.
    2011; Jarratt et al. 2010; Wright 1997]).
    Researchers describe and analyse a number of aspects of changes, such as characterisations of
    changes, causes, initiators, objectives, effects, and potential strategies, and software support to
    anticipate and handle changes. Studying characterisations of changes, some investigate late
    engineering changes (e.g. [Coughlan 1992]), others describe strategies to detect avoidable and to cope
    with unavoidable changes [Fricke et al. 2000], yet others characterise initiated design changes and the
    associated emergent modifications according to their development over time and potential effects on
    implementation within the allotted amount of time forming ripple, blossom, or avalanche patterns
    [Eckert et al. 2004].
    Whilst differing in terms of focus and research design what all studies have in common is
    differentiating between engineering changes for better understanding of patterns of change, ultimately
    better to manage engineering changes. In this paper, we aim to continue this line of investigation and
    - examine differences between average and critical changes according to results from a survey
    with industry participants, and thereby
    - explore as to what makes changes critical.
    In this paper, we focus our description on results from an industry survey. With this in mind, the
    remainder of the paper is structured as follows: Section 2 describes in brief what motivated criticality
    of engineering changes as the research focus of this paper and outlines the data acquisition and
    analysis procedure. We present results of this study in Section 3. Section 4 summarises contributions
    and concludes with suggestions for further work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign 2012
    PublisherDesign Society
    Publication date2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event12th International design conference - Hotel Croatia, Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Duration: 21 May 201224 May 2012
    Conference number: 12


    Conference12th International design conference
    LocationHotel Croatia
    Internet address


    • Engineering change management
    • Change management
    • Engineering change
    • Design change
    • Change cause
    • Change effect


    Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring differences between average and critical engineering changes: Survey results from Denmark'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this