Concurrent process mapping, organizations, project and knowledge management in large-scale product development projects using the Design Structure Matrix method
Author(s)Guivarch, Antoine D. (Antoine David), 1979-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Daniel E. Whitney.
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Sustainable success in product design and development relies not only on technical expertise and creativity within the company but as crucially, if not more, on an intelligent design of the development process, an appropriate and dynamic management of organizations, a realistic and disciplined project management, and on efficient knowledge generation, conservation and distribution techniques. These non-engineering skills pose serious challenges to companies designing complex systems like airplanes or automobiles. As these systems have gotten tremendously more complex, their design has kept involving more people, from different working cultures inside and outside the company, all within tighter time constraints. Adaptation to this new context of product development has nevertheless often been very slow because of persistent corporate traditions inherited from the past. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that Process Mapping and Improvement, Organizations Management, Project Management and Knowledge Management can be reconciled and performed all at once using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) Method, enabling large and relatively easy improvements of the design activity's efficiency. The state-of-the-art in each of the four mentioned fields is first reviewed. The methodology used throughout this thesis, the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) is then presented. The DSM method and some issues of knowledge management are illustrated in a short case study conducted in January 2002 at PSA Peugeot-Citroen in Paris, France. The promising unifying benefits of the DSM method are then thoroughly described through a large project that took place in Summer 2002 at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. It exhibits how DSMs can provide permanent system-level knowledge, guide the design practitioner through a complex process that would hardly be understood otherwise, enable a dynamic management of organizations and open opportunities for process improvement and redesign. The lessons learned finally lead to recommendations on the practice of the DSM method as well as product development in general.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2003.Includes bibliographical references (p. 149-152).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Technology and Policy Program., Mechanical Engineering.