MProvE - Validation of Methods in Product Development through Experiments – Development of a Procedural Model
In method research of product development it is a challenge to prove the validity of developed methods. However, particularly with regard to the success criteria usefulness, applicability and acceptance of methods, proof is crucial in order to successfully develop methods. In order to be able to provide this proof, method researchers currentlylack the scientific midstructure between general and abstract research methodology such as Design Research Methodology (DRM) and concrete aids to steps of method validation such as data acquisition through questionnaires. The aim of this research project is to develop a process model for the objective and reproducible validation ofmethods for product development. The process model should enable statements to be made on the success criteria of methods mentioned above. In the development of this process model, methods are validated experimentally and the obtained results are used to test and optimise the process model. In product development, a general distinction can be made between methods focusing on individual work, such as analysis methods, and methods focusing on teamwork, such as brainstorming. In order to cover this spectrum of methods with the process model, expertise in these areas is required. This expertise is based on the experience of the IPEK with the C&C² -Approach (focus on individual work) and the PKT with the integrated PKT approach (focus on teamwork). In their investigation, the existing experiences of the chairs with various data acquisition methods are also used for the experimental studies. At PKT, experiences withstudy observers and focus group interviews are used to investigate methods with a focus on teamwork. At the IPEK, eye-tracking and think-aloud are used to investigate methods for individual work. What is innovative about the process model to be researched is that by supporting the experimental investigation of methods, reproducible and objective statements on the described success criteria of methods become possible. A division of the methods into individual method steps supports the performance of experimentalinvestigations. Thus, the results of the validation can be actively used in method research, which has not been possible so far due to the mostly downstream and less objective validation activities. With the process model developed on this basis, a three-stage experimental study (preliminary study, main study, test study) is carried out in orderto analyse, optimise and evaluate its suitability for method validation.The developed process model makes it possible to build up suitable studies in order to be able to make statements about the success criteria usefulness, applicability and acceptance of methods. In this way, method researchers will be supported in the validation of their developed methods in the future.