The reality of design process planning

Eckert, C. M and Clarkson, P. J (2003). The reality of design process planning. In: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design.


Most companies struggle with the efficiency of their processes. One contributory factor is the lack of efficient process planning. This paper describes current planning practise in industry, which uses a multitude of different plans in parallel. The units of planning and their resulting plans roughly fall into product plans considering cost, bill of material and procurement considerations; process plans including different milestone, task and activity plans and quality plans. This paper maps out the ownership of these plans, and establishes that organisations work because individuals use more then one plan and have a tacit understanding of the relationships between these plans. The lack of effective plans affects the company through a lack of understanding of process connectivity and in consequence bad communication.

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