The pilot study because of the inevitable complexity

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The Pilot Study Because of the inevitable complexity of identifying an activity which cuts across traditional organisational lines we decided on a pilot study which would, we hope, not only throw up issues for wider study, but also alert us to any flaws in our
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method of enquiry. In addition we decided to cover a number of industry sectors to see if comparisons between sectors could be made. Accordingly, the pilot study was undertaken within four industry sectors: electronics and apparel in the manufacturing sector and retail and transport in the service sector. Sixteen firms in total were investigated, four in each sector. Unstructured interviews were conducted with a range of people involved (as the organisation saw it) with the design process. In some organisations, more people were interviewed to add greater depth to the pilot study. The method we used to undertake the investigation was the completion of a matrix. Along the horizontal axis of the matrix were placed the main areas of artefacts in which design operates and which have been outlined above. These are the products , the environments and the information systems , each of them being subdivided into appropriate categories. Down the vertical axis were shown seven levels of involvement in detail from shallow to deep . A description of each of these together with the original matrix is shown in the appendix (Figure 3.1). Using this matrix it was hoped to plot resources for a commitment to design within each organisation, and thereby identify and characterise the various organisations and business sectors in terms of their management of design. Developing the Matrix From the information we received during our interview programme we realised that our original matrix could be expanded, as an analytical tool. Our task was to examine the integration and interaction of the design process, through the activities of individuals. However, 56 Traditions and Origins of Design Manageme nt we also began to see a need to identify separately contributions by professional designers. Accordingly we developed two new matrices each dedicated to producing a clearer picture of one aspect of the data. The original matrix was retained, with one main modification, the ability to record professional design activity. Now known as Design Matrix 1, it operates as a reference map for all design activity. Of the two new matrices, Design Matrix 2 concentrates upon interaction between functional areas and Design Matrix 3 on activity by individuals. All these matrices are shown in the Appendix (Figures 3.1 3.4). Outcomes As an outcome of our work with the matrices, we were able to make the following two statements: 1. Design activity appears to be widely dispersed throughout the organisation.
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