Managing Requirements in a Design Support System. A Product Modelling Approachn
Doctoral thesis, 2004
The basic decisions in product development processes concerning requirements, functions, and product concepts are made during the early phases. Thus, a huge amount of information about the evolving product is generated and must be shared, structured, and communicated. Sharing this information is important. However, it is only beneficial if the information is used and interpreted effectively. This is not always a straightforward task, and there are many challenges involved in getting people from different disciplines to produce and share a common view of the product. Despite the rapid development of information technology, there are still few software tools that support the dynamic early phases where stakeholder needs and requirements are identified and conceptual solutions are evaluated against these requirements.
This thesis argues for a holistic view, in order to manage all criteria while considering as many perspectives and interests as possible. A model, theoretically based on the Theory of Domains, has been developed to support this holistic view. It provides a common understanding of involved stakeholders, together with the requirements, functions and sub-systems of the product being designed. The main contributions of the research lie in:
a phenomena model that has been developed for a common understanding of different stakeholders involved, together with the requirements, functions, and systems during the design of a product,
the knowledge of integrated product and process modelling has been further developed in order to bridge, or at least narrow, the gap between product and process descriptions, and,
descriptive elements on how manufacturing requirements are managed and prescriptive elements demonstrating how the requirements could be structured. The different structures and their applicable manufacturing requirements have been implemented in a commercial requirements engineering tool.
This model will help facilitate information sharing between members of development teams. Based on this, the model will support the decision-making process, and help the design team balance the interests of different stakeholders and the related functions. This balance will in turn enhance the possibility of success in the market. The model's applicability has been shown through several industrial studies.
design theory and methodology