A network model for the management of complex design projects.
A review of techniques that support Concurrent Engineering or Simultaneous
Engineering (CE/SE) is presented. It is shown that the management of projects
consistent with the principles of CE/SE is hampered by the lack of a suitable activity
network modelling tool.
The limitations of existing methods such as the Critical Path Analysis Method (CPM)
and the related Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) for the management
of complex design projects are demonstrated. Recent enhancements and alternatives to
CPMlPERT are reviewed.
A network model is proposed that supports CE/SE and is capable of representing
uncertain task outcomes, partial dependencies and task iterations characteristic of
complex design projects. Discrete-event simulation is used to evaluate the network and
show the effect of resources constraints, communications efficiency and activity control
logic on project completion timescales and product quality. The proposed model is
designed so that the activity network can be derived from and directly related to a
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) matrix. This allows project completion to be
expressed in terms of customer requirements and priorities.
The network model is illustrated by showing how it can be applied to an aerospace