The Network Challenge (Chapter 10)

The Network Challenge (Chapter 10)

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Complex products, such as airplanes and automobiles, are designed by networks of design teams working on different components, often across organizations. The challenge in managing these networks is to decompose the project into manageable pieces but then coordinate the entire network to produce the best overall design. In this chapter, Manuel Sosa offers insights on this challenge. He examines the design structure matrix (DSM) as a project management tool for planning complex development efforts and discusses the engineering and managerial implications of considering complex products as networks of interconnected subsystems and components. In particular, he considers the impact of modularity on interactions among subcomponents. Finally, he examines organizational communications, overlaying product interfaces with communications interfaces of development teams to understand where communication links may be missing or unnecessary. The discussion offers insights on any complex design and coordination challenge, where networks of individuals or teams work together to contribute to a larger whole.In 1999, the Ford Explorer went from being the number one sport utility vehicle ( SUV) sold in USA to the least desired one due to quality problems associated with the suspension system of the Ford Explorer and the design of its Bridgestone /Firestone tires. ... were responsible for different sections of the fuselage, were not properly communicating about their design interface specifications (Gumbel 2006 ).

Title:The Network Challenge (Chapter 10)
Author:Manuel E. Sosa
Publisher:Pearson Education - 2009-05-19


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