The growth rate of R&D activities in automotive industry brings an increased need for transfer of design knowledge. This, in combination with growing complexity of the product puts new demands on the decision process. In this paper, decision methods used within the R&D department of an international vehicle manufacturer has been investigated through interviews and surveys. The main focus has been to identify and analyze methods used by the individual roles within different development teams. The survey reveals that a majority of the respondents use unstructured methods for resolving decision issues. When respondents were asked about their preferences there was an expressed need for more structured methods. Among these, two methods are elaborated that are well established within the product development process: expert support and guidelines, but also on methods training in general. A third conclusion is to redirect the current decision process to build on more structured methods through training. This work has contributed also by identifying the company best practice. The long term goal is to have all development teams adopt one common development process at the team level.

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