A Modeling Method to Manage Change Propagation
Many new products are developed through modifications of existing ones. However, the engineering changes required to implement such modifications can sometimes propagate, requiring further changes to the design. The propagation of change is therefore a significant influence on resource allocation when designing new products. This paper presents a modelling method that aims to manage the effects of change propagation and is applied to the design of a jet engine fan. The method uses a matrix-based approach to model the dependencies between the solution alternatives, the potential change propagation brought about by the solutions, the affected product attributes, and the resources needed to carry out the change work. It allows engineers to trace critical change propagation paths and manage them. The findings suggest that this modelling method is suitable for assessing solution alternatives during preliminary design and can help support engineers to explore the design space in the right direction.