, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1-13

A model-based method for organizing tasks in product development

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This research is aimed at structuring complex design projects in order to develop better products more quickly. We use a matrix representation to capture both the sequence of and the technical relationships among the many design tasks to be performed. These relationships define the “technical structure” of a project, which is then analyzed in order to find alternative sequences and/or definitions of the tasks. Such improved design procedures offer opportunities to speed development progress by streamlining the inter-task coordination. After using this technique to model design processes in several organizations, we have developed a design management strategy which focuses attention on the essential information transfer requirements of a technical project.