A FRAMEWORK OF WORKING ACROSS DISCIPLINES IN EARLY DESIGN AND R&D OF LARGE COMPLEX ENGINEERED SYSTEMS
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Francesca Montagna
Author: McGowan, Anna-Maria Rivas; Papalambros, Panos; Baker, Wayne
Institution: 1: NASA Langley Research Center, United States of America; 2: University of Michigan, United States of America
Section: Design Organisation and Management
This paper examines four primary methods of working across disciplines during R&D and early design of large-scale complex engineered systems such as aerospace systems. A conceptualized framework, called the Combining System Elements framework, is presented to delineate several aspects of cross-discipline and system integration practice. The framework is derived from a theoretical and empirical analysis of current work practices in actual operational settings and is informed by theories from organization science and engineering. The explanatory framework may be used by teams to clarify assumptions and associated work practices, which may reduce ambiguity in understanding diverse approaches to early systems research, development and design. The framework also highlights that very different engineering results may be obtained depending on work practices, even when the goals for the engineered system are the same.