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A model for the description and evaluation of technical problem solving

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2 Author(s)
Frischmuth, Daniel S. ; Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Fort Worth Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Fort Worth, Tex ; Allen, Thomas J.

Tape-recorded weekly protocols were gathered from three different engineers engaged on the same problem in a three-way parallel R&D project. Based on these protocols and a post-project interview with each engineer, a model of the individual technical problem solving process is developed. The model is in the form of a process flow chart and details the engineer's interaction with sources of technical information. The results of the study indicate that the problem solver need not view the process as one in which the best solution is to be found for a fixed problem. Often the best approach lies in the direction of adapting to existing solutions the criteria which must be met.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:EM-16 ,  Issue: 2 )