Identifying product development crises: The potential of adaptive heuristics

C. Münzberger, Verena Stingl, Josef Oehmen, Joana Geraldi

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    This paper introduces adaptive heuristics as a tool to identify crises in design projects and highlights potential applications of these heuristics as decision support tool for crisis identification. Crises may emerge slowly or suddenly, and often have ambiguous signals. Thus the identification of a project crisis is often difficult. Yet, to allow fast crisis response, timely identification is critical for successful crisis management. Adaptive heuristics are judgement strategies that can strive in circumstances of limited and ambiguous information. This article presents a theoretical proposition for the application of heuristics in design sciences. To achieve this, the paper compares crises to 'business as usual', and presents sixteen indicators for emerging crises. These indicators are potential cues for adaptive heuristics. Specifically three adaptive heuristics, One-single-cue, Fast-and-Frugal-Trees, and Tallying, are well suited to support design practitioners to make robust inferences about the situation. The paper presents potential applications of these three heuristics and provides an outlook on further research on adaptive heuristics in design sciences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED17), Vol. 2: Design Processes | Design Organisation and Management,
    PublisherDesign Society
    Publication date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event21th International Conference on Engineering Design - The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 21 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


    Conference21th International Conference on Engineering Design
    LocationThe University of British Columbia
    Internet address


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