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Innovating Practices in Managing Engineering Design Projects

Innovating Practices in Managing Engineering Design Projects
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Author(s): Fernando Abreu Gonçalves (CEG-IST, Portugal) and José Figueiredo (CEG-IST/DEG, University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 16
Source title: Project Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch054

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Abstract

We can address innovation from different perspectives. In engineering practices we can look to changes resulting from attempts to discover ways of overcoming difficulties. How can we manage these innovative practices in engineering design projects? Furthering our perspective we use an actor-network way to look at change processes as chains of translations between heterogeneous actors that are enrolled in changes and where patterns of action are inscribed in durable manners. In an actor-network, the chains of inscriptions are stronger if the number of aligned actors is bigger, and this is the case of engineering projects where the cost of change builds up with time. Through the use of some stylized situations, the authors construct a Perturbation Index to obtain numeric values to assess the dynamics of innovations in engineering practices. The aim is that the application of this index to real situations could lead to meaningful descriptions of such innovation processes. Managing innovation in engineering design projects has to do with the management of project scope. The proposal extends scope management from its definition and planning phases through the control of changes along the execution.

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