Value-Based Development Connecting Engineering and Business: A Case on Electric Space Propulsion
Journal article, 2020
The static relation between business and engineering design hinders the pace of innovation. While program managers often evaluate innovation in terms of financial value generated over a number of business scenarios, engineering design teams base their activities on improving product functionality and meeting technical requirements. This results in an insufficient common understanding during gate meetings about the business implications of alternative technological tradeoffs, thus negatively impacting the pace of innovation. This article presents the results from the introduction of a methodology–based on value and functional modeling–into the practice of design teams working with next-generation electric propulsion systems for satellite applications. The introduction of the methodology was evaluated via interviews, workshops, and observations with nine industrial partners. The results indicate business stakeholders and technology-focused design teams’ bidirectional interest in the methodology. In particular, the results highlight the benefits of the methodology in creating cross-boundary representations that can be used by stakeholders to share knowledge and find common ground in gate meetings. The dynamic interaction with such representations enables a faster decision-making pace during the management of innovation initiatives.
value-driven design (VDD)
value-based development (VBD)