THE BENEFITS OF PREDICTING CHANGE IN COMPLEX PRODUCTS: APPLICATION AREAS OF A DSM-BASED PREDICTION TOOL
Most designers struggle to fully understand a complex product. Throughout the entire life cycle of a product engineers are frequently required to predict how changes could propagate. Currently, few methods or tools are available to support this process. This paper describes part of an ongoing research project that aims to support designers by (1) giving them a better understanding of the linkages between components within their product and (2) helping them to assess the risk of change propagation. The paper gives an overview of a DSM-based method of modelling products, discusses other potential applications of it within the design process and describes a developmental computer tool for visualising linkages and predicting change propagation.