Change Management Group

Principal Investigator: Professor P John Clarkson

Modelling Change in Products

The EDC is interested in process modelling, product modelling and the interplay between the process, product and people. The focus is generally on complex products, which demand complex design processes. The vision of Change Management group is to understand how knowledge of the product and its development process can influence the management of change, when such knowledge is often distributed and held in different forms.

Specific aims for the group are to improve product change modelling by:

  • understanding the behaviour of change in complex products
  • challenging current industrial practise of managing change in product redesign
  • developing acceptable and novel design change management tools.

Whilst much literature describes design as a process that starts with a "clean sheet of paper", in practice most design starts from an existing product. In such circumstances, the consequences of design changes need to be appreciated if the full cost of introducing the new product is to be understood. The management of change remains important as the design progresses and unforeseen requirements emerge to disrupt the planned process.

The tools that exist to assist the management of change generally focus on the process of ensuring the consequences of a change are discussed and agreed by those deemed to have a stake in the outcome. There is a lack of methods or tools to help predict the consequences of a change in terms of probable impact on the product and corresponding design process.

The objectives of the Change Management research are:

  • to understand the scope and nature of current approaches to change prediction and management in the UK
  • to develop innovative product models to allow the capture, visualisation and support of complex change processes
  • to understand predictability and causality in design
  • to develop model building techniques to enable the effective capture of product change knowledge
  • to develop theories that can form the basis of novel support methods and tools and to develop and test such approaches.

Group Members

Current Research


Completed Research