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Team structures and processes in the design of space missions

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3 Author(s)
S. D. Wall ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; D. B. Smith ; L. J. Koenig

We consider team dynamics a component of the engineering design process for space missions and explore the possibility of improvements in management of team dynamics to gain additional efficiencies. At the conceptual level, design times have been reduced by properly defining the required design depth, understanding the Linkages between tools, and managing team dynamics. Team structures such as concurrent engineering, tool linkage and a scripted team process have been demonstrated to cut concept-level engineering design time from a few months to a few weeks. Costs for preparing the designs are substantially reduced. A proposal is presented whereby design methodologies in implementation-phase design can be revised along similar lines using a similar process. System requirements can be held in crosscutting models which are linked to subsystem design tools through a central database that captures the design and supplies needed configuration management and control. Mission goals, which may be thought of as the rough equivalent of level-one system requirements, are then captured in timelining software that drives the models, testing their capability to execute the goals. The team dynamics revolve around the use of three teams; each is managed in ways similar to those mentioned above. Metrics are used to measure and control both processes and to ensure that design parameters converge through the design process within schedule constraints. Traditional linear waterfall design methods management of an ever-reducing margin as the design proceeds to an anticipated endpoint, the methodology described here manages margins controlled by acceptable risk levels. Thus, teams can evolve risk tolerance (and cost) as they would any engineering parameter. This new approach allows more design freedom for a longer period, which tends to encourage revolutionary and unexpected improvements in design

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 1999. Proceedings. 1999 IEEE  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

1999