Discrepancies between customer expectations and product configuration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Projects are undertaken in response to customer needs. A customer has many features in mind when considering a new product, or service. The more closely the product fits the customer's expectations, the higher the probability of completing the project successfully. The objective of this article is to discuss potential sources of discrepancies between customer expectation, designer understanding and final product configuration, and reports on investigation of these issues. The study analyses the sources of ambiguity and uncertainty that designers face when responding to customers' needs. Since designers must deliver a product despite a lack of accurate information, they use their cognitive perception concerning unknown features. An interesting finding is that when faced with a vague product specification, designers tend to agree in their selection of configuration requirements even when the customer has made no explicit statement about the configuration commonly selected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Customer expectations
  • Product configuration
  • Technical specifications


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