Structured Methods in Product Development

Shervin Ghaemmaghami and Larry Bucciarelli
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

We adopt the perspective that product design is a social activity: the outcome of an organized human effort to transform a set of requirements into a reality. It requires the collaboration of a wide range of individuals and stakeholders, each with different competencies, knowledge, responsibility and interests. Our focus is on the structured methods developed within the engineering design community to manage the product design and development process. Empirical observations of the product development process within a design consultancy show how they are used, patterned and shaped by participants in many different ways, with an array of intangible as well as tangible benefits.


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