Organizing the tasks in complex design projects

  • Steven D. Eppinger
  • Daniel E. Whitney
  • Robert P. Smith
  • David A. Gebala
Organizational Issues
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 492)


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 design project which is then analyzed in order to find alternative sequences and/or definitions of the design 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. We expect that this research will benefit not only new design tasks that have never been structured before but also long-standing, often repeated design tasks that may have drifted into poor organizational patterns over many years.


Adjacency Matrix Design Task Brake System Design Iteration Design Structure Matrix 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven D. Eppinger
    • 1
  • Daniel E. Whitney
    • 1
  • Robert P. Smith
    • 1
  • David A. Gebala
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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