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Coordination in new product development: a model to evaluate potential benefits

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Engineering design is fundamentally iterative in nature. In part, these iterative cycles are caused by the interconnected relationships between tasks that make up the process. However, the widely used methods for planning and managing engineering design are based on traditional project management practices that cannot consider iterative sequences. Here Samuel presents a conceptual model of the new product development process that accounts for the interdependency of information generated by design activities and its consequences on iterative cycles. He uses this conceptual framework to create a discrete event simulation of the communication and design work in a product development process. The simulations of generic new product development processes predicted trends observed in practice and described by other researchers. This conceptual model of the design process realistically characterizes the mechanisms that determine overall project cost and span time. The model predicts the changes in project performance when revised process architecture and coordination practices are simulated. The results point to a generalized methodology that can be used for improving product development processes.

About the author: Samuel Suss is a Ph.D. Candidate in Engineering at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He completed a Master of Engineering at the same institution and graduated with distinction. Prior to starting his PhD, Mr. Suss was an aerodynamics engineer at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft where he worked primarily on methods development for the design and manufacturing of turbo machinery. He also worked as a project manager, engineering manager, and operations manager in a number of organisations across Canada and the United States of America.

This talk is part of the Engineering Design Centre series.

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