Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

A model-based method for organizing tasks in product development

  • Steven D. Eppinger
  • Daniel E. Whitney
  • Robert P. Smith
  • David A. Gebala


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.


Concurrent engineering Design management Design process improvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven D. Eppinger
    • 1
  • Daniel E. Whitney
    • 1
  • Robert P. Smith
    • 1
  • David A. Gebala
    • 1
  1. 1.Sloan School, E53-347Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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