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Flexibility in Engineering Design

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2011
Author(s): de Neufville, R.; Scholtes, S.
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: General Topics for Engineers (Math, Science & Engineering)
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Abstract

Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools.

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      Front Matter

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): i - xvi
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Engineering Systems, Title, Copyright, Dedications, Contents, Series Foreword, Acknowledgments, Introduction View full abstract»

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      High-Level Overview

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 1
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Flexible Design: Its Need and Value

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 3 - 14
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Future Is Uncertain, Standard Methods Are Inadequate, The Standard Methods Are Passive, The Standard Process Ignores Intelligent Management, Intelligent Management Anticipates Many Futures, Intelligent Management Needs Design Flexibility, Flexibility in Design Increases Expected Value, What This Book Does View full abstract»

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      Recognition of Uncertainty

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 15 - 38
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Uncertainty Matters, The Flaw of Averages, The Need for Forecasts, Standard Practice, The Standard Forecast Is “Always Wrong”, Requirements Are Also Often Wrong, Inescapable Obstacles to Accurate Forecasting, Recommended Procedure, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Flexibility Can Increase Value

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 39 - 60
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Example: Parking Garage, Base Case: Standard Analysis Using Assumed Projection, Recognizing Effects of Uncertainty, Using Flexible Design to Manage Uncertainty, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Methods of Analysis

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 61 - 63
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Phase 1: Estimating the Distribution of Future Possibilities

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 65 - 97
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Step 1: Identify Important Factors, Step 2: Analyze Historical Trends, Step 3: Identify Trend-Breakers, Step 4: Establish Forecast (In)accuracy, Step 5: Build a Dynamic Socio-Technical Model, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Phase 2: Identifying Candidate Flexibilities

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 99 - 127
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Concept of Screening Model, The Development of Screening Models, Types of Screening Model, Bottom-Up Screening Models, Simulator Models, The Direct Approach, Top-Down Screening Models, Use of Screening Models to Identify Candidate Flexibilities, Example Application: Configuration of Automobile Factories, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Phase 3: Evaluating and Choosing Flexible Designs

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 129 - 164
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Evaluation of Individual Projects, Choosing Between Target Curves, Multidimensional Comparison of Projects, Validation by Sensitivity Analysis, Example Application: Development of a Deep-Water Oil Field, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Phase 4: Implementing Flexibility

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 165 - 181
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Common Obstacles to Implementation, Initial Preventive Actions, Ongoing Operational Actions, Ongoing Operational Actions, Take Away View full abstract»

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      Epilog: The Way Ahead

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 183 - 185
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Context, The Promise, The Current Situation, The Opportunity, The Work Ahead View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix A: Flaw of Averages

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 187 - 194
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix B: Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 195 - 207
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix C: Economics of Phasing

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 209 - 215
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix D: Monte Carlo Simulation

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 217 - 249
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix E: Dynamic Forecasting

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 251 - 263
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Appendix F: Financial Options Analysis

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 265 - 272
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Notes

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 273 - 282
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Bibliography

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 283 - 287
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      de Neufville, R. ; Scholtes, S.
      Flexibility in Engineering Design

      Page(s): 289 - 293
      Copyright Year: 2011

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      Project teams can improve results by recognizing that the future is inevitably uncertain and that by creating flexible designs they can adapt to eventualities. This approach enables them to take advantage of new opportunities and avoid harmful losses. Designers of complex, long-lasting projects--such as communication networks, power plants, or hospitals--must learn to abandon fixed specifications and narrow forecasts. They need to avoid the "flaw of averages," the conceptual pitfall that traps so many designs in underperformance. Failure to allow for changing circumstances risks leaving significant value untapped. This book is a guide for creating and implementing value-enhancing flexibility in design. It will be an essential resource for all participants in the development and operation of technological systems: designers, managers, financial analysts, investors, regulators, and academics. The book provides a high-level overview of why flexibility in design is needed to deliver significantly increased value. It describes in detail methods to identify, select, and implement useful flexibility. The book is unique in that it explicitly recognizes that future outcomes are uncertain. It thus presents forecasting, analysis, and evaluation tools especially suited to this reality. Appendixes provide expanded explanations of concepts and analytic tools. View full abstract»




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