A project management issue of new technology developments : A case study on lack of human factors' attention in human-robot interaction


​The complexity of today’s sociotechnical systems has prompted researchers and practitioners to advocate new holistic approaches to safety. However, many engineering standards, methods and processes for addressing technical, human and organizational factors do not fully reflect this. This article investigates known project management challenges and how they can explain the lack of attention to human factors issues in the design and development of new technology.

As such, the work contributes to a research stream investigating why the human factors discipline is repeatedly marginalized in engineering projects. This article reports on findings from a case study – a research and innovation project developing technology and concepts for human–robot collaboration. We conclude that a narrow focus on early project phases and insufficient information coordination contribute to marginalizing the role of human factors in the design and development of new technology.​