Concurrent engineering problem take many forms
From our last blog, we have learned that of an organization that has concurrent engineering difficulty, specifically coordinating the design work. We will further explore this situation. One of the subsystem groups decides to improve the coordination effort internal to that specific department. For example, System 1 chooses to focus on their handling of the design coordination internal to that department. This is not a bad idea, as there are some inefficiencies and losses due to ineffectual coordination of the various subsystem designs.
There is another problem area, and that is the coordination of the systems that comprise the entirety of the product. Below is a graphic that illustrates this other area lacking coordination.
Where to start?
The trick is to understand the best area upon which to focus the finite resources. A short sample period, a portion of one large project, provides and example of the costs due to errant or insufficient control over development of the design. Based upon these numbers, it could be the best situation is to work the interfaces between the systems rather than those issues internal to each system area.
Perhaps the reason for focusing on the internal was the result of spheres of control interests (political). For example, System 1 (department) believes they have more complete control over the outcome and therefore the probability of success is greatly improved. If the larger problem were to be undertaken, that requires involvement in management structures and coordination from System 2, System 3 and so on. There is some thing to be said for the probability of the endeavor being successful. An entirely internal affair is likely to have a significantly higher probability of success. On the other hand, to show the largest improvement to the bottom line it is prudent to prioritize the work and solve the largest loss. Treating a black eye while the patient hemorrhages profusely is not the likely road to success.
Consider the entire system and the losses. Even if probability of failure were factored in (multiply risk X money at stake) the outcome is so one sided that result would likely favor taking on the bigger challenge.
Tags: business, product development, project management, Quality