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A HOLISTIC PROCESS DESIGNED TO ALIGN THE STRUCTURE OF AN ORGANIZATION TO THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE PRODUCT PRODUCED BY THE ORGANIZATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009955D
Publication Date: 2002-Oct-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 130K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The invention consists of a process that aligns the architectures of subsystems to cultivate the emergent capabilities of the resultant overall system. Although the process is applied to a product development system comprised of a product development organization, the product it produces, and the product development process (PDP), it can be applied to any set of subsystems. This is through the application of system engineering principles and heuristics throughout the alignment process. In addition, this process may be modeled via software algorithms if necessary due to system complexity

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The invention consists of a process that aligns the architectures of subsystems to cultivate the emergent capabilities of the resultant overall system.� Although the process is applied to a product development system comprised of a product development organization, the product it produces, and the product development process (PDP), it can be applied to any set of subsystems.� This is through the application of system engineering principles and heuristics throughout the alignment process.� In addition, this process may be modeled via software algorithms if necessary due to system complexity.

The system alignment process may be applied to a newly developed product development system, or to improve an existing system.� The system alignment process is as follows:

 

  1. Draw a schematic of the product by illustrating the components and subsystems within the product and connecting them with lines defining the primary interactions between each of the elements (i.e. energy, signals, material flow).
  2. Partition the product by grouping elements together per the following criteria as defined by Ulrich and Eppinger (U&E) and applying heuristics:

·        Geometric integration and precision – requires precise location or close proximity of the elements

·        Function sharing – a single component can implement multiple functions

·        Vendor capability – expertise in the design of the elements

·        Similarity of design or production technology – self explanatory

·        Localization of change – a high degree of change is expected to the elements

·        Accommodating variety – enable the product to suit multiple customers

·        Enabling standardization – the set of elements will be useful in other products

·        Portability of the interfaces – electrical signals and fluid connections allow interactions across large distances (versus a purely mechanical force or motion).

·        Heursitics:

o       For modular design, group all attributes with like processes into a single module and decouple them from all other attributes and processes.

o       Try to determine which interfaces are most error-prone.

o       Capabilities of the system only emerge when the components of the system are working, and when assembled, fit together.

o       There should be a greater degree of interfaces or dependencies within the partitioned elements of a product than between the other partitioned elements, yielding form independence, and therefore modularity (attribute independence).

o       Minimize task dependences, both in quantity and magnitude, between the partitioned elements of a product (process independence).

3.      Similarly model the incidental interfaces in a separate schematic with the same partitions from the previous step and adjust partitions as necessary.� Examples of product incidental interactions are:

·        Thermal distortion affecting the physical alignment of a element.

·        Vibrations from one element affecting the performance of another.

·        RF or EM interference emitted from one element affecting the performance of anothe...