Assessing the Complex Product Design Process Planning Activity
Author: Mark, Philip De Lessio
Supervisor: Clarkson, P. John; Caldwell. Nicholas
Institution: University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering
Planning the complex product design process is critical for the successful production and distribution of marketable products. Despite its importance, however, many members of industry are seemingly indifferent to the planning activity besides that which occurs in relation to their own responsibilities. However, understanding the complexity of the products being designed suggests a requirement for many project stakeholders from multiple functional responsibilities to work synchronously to ensure the success of a complex product design project. Much of the research conducted around the complex product design process alludes to the importance of planning but is more limited regarding how industry actually applies their embedded planning systems to conduct complex product design process planning activities. This thesis describes research conducted to determine industry’s comprehensive planning activity for the complex product design process from a project perspective. It systematically discusses the literature review and ensuing empirical case studies that were pursued to answer the research questions identified and satisfy the objectives of the research. In identifying how industry plans its design process, it suggests opportunities for improvement and introduces a modelling technique to effect such improvement. The thesis concludes by summarising the contributions that were made and proposing future research opportunities to build upon the work that was initiated and embarked upon with this research project.