A case study in Volvo Powertrain is conducted to examine the distribution of responsibility for human factors in the companies’ engineering design process. Design decisions with human factors impact, and hence system performance implications, are identified in the design of both the product and the production system in a chain of decisions, spread across multiple stakeholder groups. Thus the organisational structure of the engineering design process appears to influence the ability to handle human factors appropriately at each stage of design. Responsibility (although perhaps not accountability) appears to be distributed throughout the engineering design process. Thus human factors aspects require careful coordination throughout engineering design.
Neumann, W.P., Winkel, J. (2006) Who is Responsible for Human Factors in Engineering Design? The Case of Volvo Powertrain. Third CDEN/RCCI International Design Conference on Education, Innovation, and Practice in Engineering Design, Toronto, CDN, July 24-26 pp. 82-88