Shortening design lead times while maintaining product quality requires careful planning of the design process. This paper describes a technique used at a major automobile manufacturer to create a simple, flexible process to do just that for their engine design group. The design organization's communications infrastructure was tailored to assure that design information was reliably transmitted through the organization. The mechanism used to achieve this accounts for (a) both component and system perspectives, and (b) the unpredictable nature of the flow of design information by treating unpredictability as an acceptable, even desirable, state of affairs.
Journal of Engineering Design, 10, 2, pp. 109-124