Modelling of cooperative work in concurrent engineering projects based on extended work transformation matrices with hidden state variables

Year: 2012
Editor: Onishi, M.; Maurer, M.; Kirner, K.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Schlick, C. M.; Schneider, S.; Duckwitz, S.
Series: DSM
Institution: RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Section: Management of Engineering Design Projects
Page(s): 411-422
ISBN: 978-3-446-43354-0


This paper presents analyses of project dynamics and emergent complexity in new product
development projects that are subjected to the concept of concurrent engineering. A model-driven
approach is taken and different mathematical models of cooperative work are formulated on the basis
of the theory of Markov processes. Through the consideration of hidden state variables, the latest,
most advanced model can capture not only the apparent cooperative processing of the development
tasks but also not directly observable efforts that are related to communication processes. This model
is used to calculate a closed-form solution for a metric of emergent complexity. The metric was
invented in basic research and allows an explicit complexity evaluation based on the model’s
parameters. Finally, the results of a validation study in an industrial company are presented.

Keywords: Project dynamics, cooperative work, complexity management, work transformation matrix

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