It's not personal: can logbooks provide insights into engineering projects?

Christopher Snider, H McAlpine, James Gopsill, Simon Jones, Lei Shi, B J Hicks

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Engineering projects are often large, complex, high-value, high-risk, and distributed. As a result, it is vital to monitor and understand what is happening within each as it progresses, and highly challenging to do so. Without detailed understanding, management becomes difficult and falls back upon generic principles that are not always appropriate for each project context. To approach this issue, this paper studies the written logbooks of three engineers, and explores how the marks within can be analysed to generate project-level understanding, particularly that which informs engineering project management. This occurs through the study of three engineering logbooks using two detailed coding schemas, one classifying content and the other activity, creativity and novelty. By this analysis, this paper aims to understand and assess efficacy of studying logbooks given their time-consuming and difficult-to-code nature. From the results, feasibility is shown of developing detailed understanding of typical project progress, and the identification of specific events within a project upon which a manager may act. The efficacy of the study of logbooks for this purpose is then assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2015


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