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Bad design choices can lead companies to waste both time and money. Even good choices that take a little too long to come out of the design process can lead to costly delays.

The exact figure will never be known, but bad designs are known to cost companies dearly, particularly when they lead to product recalls (in the consumer-goods sector) or come out of the tax-payers’ pockets (in the building sector).

This was a problem faced by Dr Richard Simmons when he was Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) in the early 2000s, and was summed up well in his 2005 study.