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A decision analytic framework for evaluating concurrent engineering

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3 Author(s)
Yassine, A.A. ; MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Chelst, K.R. ; Falkenburg, R.

This paper quantifies key issues with regard to concurrent engineering through the use of risk and decision analysis techniques that enable us to better understand, structure, and manage the design process. In concurrent engineering, the information structure of a design process does not usually imply the execution patterns of the corresponding design tasks. On the contrary, this gap between the information structure and execution patterns is the essence of concurrent engineering and its basic advantage over traditional sequential design. In this paper, we relate the structure of information flow in a design process to three different execution strategies: sequential, partial overlapping, and concurrent. The risks of excessive task iterations or redesigns associated with each execution pattern are probabilistically modeled. Risk and decision analysis methodology is used to determine the best execution strategy and the optimal overlapping policy for a set of activities given their information structure. Applying this theoretical framework to a real-world design application of an automotive cylinder block suggested a potential 18% reduction in development cycle time

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 2 )