Document Detail

Title: RS8-1 - Evaluation of Design Effectiveness
Publication Date: 7/1/1986
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Tool
Pages: 25
Addresses the major problems related to design performance. Discusses the criteria of design productivity and effectiveness. Describes a method for measuring design effectiveness that can be applied by the industry at large.
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Design is basically a subjective process which is influenced by many factors. Nonetheless it provides a project’s central point of translation of ideas into specific instructions.

This publication is the first of several relating to the design function. The purpose is to present a method for evaluating design effectiveness. Subsequent publications will provide additional data for use in such evaluations as well as information relating to the factors that influence the design process.

The method presented herein is for evaluation of a design, not a designer. It is recognized that many parties and factors influence the final design product. The proposed method is based upon the following seven evaluation criteria:

  • Accuracy of Design Documents
  • Usability of Design Documents
  • Cost of Design
  • Constructability
  • Economy of Design
  • Performance Against Schedule
  • Ease of Start-Up

Not all of the criteria influence a design to the same degree. A method is presented for combining weights and performance ratings of the seven criteria into a single performance index. The method utilizes an objectives matrix approach and provides the flexibility of using a variety of criteria, weights, and measuring systems to compute the performance index. An example is shown, using piping design, for calculating the performance index.

The method has the flexibility to be useful in a wide variety of circumstances, including:

  1. Widely differing types of products
  2. Mixtures of objective and subjective measurements of design effectiveness
  3. Differing objectives and criteria for design effectiveness
  4. Measurement of overall design effective regardless of influence source or measurement of designer performance when influences of designer and owner can be separately identified.

The ability to measure design effectiveness using the proposed method represents an important step in a broader effort to improve the total design process. Such a broader effort encompasses identification of the effect on design effectiveness of (a) various inputs to the design process and (b) the systems and techniques employed by the designer.