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Friday, October 16, 2009

Design Audit Model

Design Audit Model
Julie Malone
University of Phoenix
OI 462 Business Management and the Principles of Design
Ray S. DePuy, PE
December 15, 2008

Design Audit Model

Design can be a key competitive weapon that companies and managers can examine in their own corporate use of design to address problems in corporate competitiveness. A design audit can be used to help a company identify the design capabilities of the business and identify where and how design can be most effectively applied to boost the company’s competitive advantage. A properly performed design audit reviews the company’s purpose and vision, the competitive and organizational strategy, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and the organization’s positioning, product, people, and process capabilities.

Design audit consists of four different levels: environmental issues, corporate culture, design management, and the physical implementation of the design (strategy, process, products, and services). This report will focus on the corporate culture of Siemens Corporation for its design audit model. The corporate culture includes corporate design strategies’, design awareness/understanding (values and vision), design and other function integration, and design activities undertaken (Cooper and Press, 1992).

An employee opinion survey was used as a design audit for the quality of human resources. This company-wide survey audit can provide the company with important information about the employees’ opinions, thoughts of the company, and personal values and visions. The audit’s objective is to gain knowledge of how employees feel about the company, the job, pay and benefits, work environment, management, training, communication, corporate culture, overall satisfaction, and general overall opinion of how the company is being conducted.

The employee opinion survey found a general sense of lack of communication and feeling of involvement by employees in the aims and goals of the company. This analysis provides information leading to the following recommendation to help the company improve in the overall quality and find ways to re-energize and re-commit employees in order for them to feel a sense of loyalty to the company. The problem identification depends on if the feedback is positive or negative. I would make the following recommendations for improvement:

1. Siemens can improve on communicating with employees by offering conference calls to update them on company updates and changes, values and vision, and to invite employees for their opinions and comments as to the current and future direction of the company.
2. Employees should have the opportunity to express their ideas on how they feel the company could strategize more efficiently, be innovative, and use the SWOT more productively within the company.
3. Employees should be able to express ideas about their current job function (possible re-design the company into a learning culture for employees to share information and knowledge company-wide), additional training and education to expand on the value as an employee, and how to lower the employee turnover rate.
4. Pay and benefits could be improved by adding incentive programs to employees such as extra projects for overtime and offering flexible benefits.
5. The work environment could improve by offering flexible work schedules and telecommuting to the employees.
6. The middle management could take additional leadership training to be a more effective leader to its employees and how to loosen hierarchy constraints in favor of teamwork and employee empowerment.
7. Siemens should improve technology through updated software and computer systems to improve faster technical support assistance to the customer.

If the above recommended improvements were used as a tool and implemented within Siemens Corporation, the communication between the company and the employees could improve the corporate culture and help the employees understand the aims and objectives of the company in order to contribute effectively and to show a general overall satisfaction throughout the company. In the end the company’ management team needs to strategize and execute good management practice to make improvements and change the current conditions.

Reference
Cooper, R., and Press, M. (1995). The Design Agenda. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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