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Product design is the most critical activity for innovation and value-adding in a product development lifecycle. Product design task management is an important feature of design frameworks. A proper design task management solution can definitely increase the design process efficiency. This paper presents an integrated approach for managing design tasks, designer capacities, task execution and monitoring in product development lifecycles. In the proposed approach, design tasks are associated directly with product design data. Each designer's capacity is synchronized and updated automatically during design task creation and assignment. Design tasks are routed to assigned designers, and task execution, progress and effort spent by designers can be automatically monitored, controlled and tracked. The proposed design task management approach can be seamlessly integrated with the upstream and downstream activities of a product lifecycle in terms of its processes and information needs, leveraging on workflow/lifecycle technology. Developed as part of an enterprise system and implemented in the design department of a local mould making company, it has shown that the proposed approach can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of design task management, and thereby facilitating the design process in the company.
Date of Conference: 16-18 Aug. 2006