Prediction of Communication Structures Based on Product Structures

Year: 2011
Editor: Eppinger, S. D., Maurer, M., Eben, K., Lindemann, U.
Author: Biedermann, W.; Lindemann, U.
Section: Managing Complex Engineering Design Projects
Page(s): 291-300


Due to market pressure and increased collaborative work many companies face challenges arising from product and process complexity. The challenges include changes and iterations as well as cost and schedule overruns. Product and process of complexity are highly interlinked and can be tackled be structure-based models. It is commonly accepted that the process has to adapt to the product. Otherwise problems like quality and schedule issues arise. In this paper we test if the communication structure of a project can be predicted based on the product structure. We use the development of an electrically powered go cart as case study and derive communication and product structure independently for unbiased comparisons. We find that 86% of the communication relations can be predicted. Yet 44% of the predicted relations did not occur in the project.

Keywords: Product structure, communication structure, structural comparison


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