Saving Design Intent When Change Comes Calling

Getting a profitable product conceived, designed, validated and produced can take a long time, and plenty of changes can and will happen before the finish line is reached.

Those changes can emerge from shifting market or social conditions, unstoppable trends that suddenly become anything but, changes in company strategies, and many other factors.  Every day spent getting your product to market is another day for an ECO to turn your design process for a hard left – and if you can’t smoothly shift your product design process to match, your product could be in real trouble.

Change is inevitable.  When change orders arrive, how can you best adapt to them quickly without losing sight of your overall product design intentions?

  • Preparation is everything.  As Sun Tsu wrote, a battle is often won before the battle even begins.  Be as clear as possible about the core design intentions of your product, and prioritize your design goals.  If a feature must be sacrificed for the sake of another, determine early on where compromises can be made and where they can’t.  Know the battlefield before fighting starts.  

  • Move initial concepting to a collaborative digital platform as early in the process as possible.  In a digital 3D CAD environment, concepts and design plans suddenly gain two critical qualities: flexibility and formality.  You will need both when the first ECO arrives.

  • Use an integrated design platform to avoid work redundancies.    The more organized and efficient your design process, the more likely that your product design will survive even the most disruptive change order.  Use an integrated collaborative CAD platform - such as PTC Creo - that will help reduce the duplications of effort that in turn threaten design intent.

  • Prioritize management awareness of engineering change.  As the saying goes, no design survives implementation.  Change, however, doesn’t have to be a threat.  Rather, it can inspire and inform the design process to explore new directions and innovate new solutions.  Foster a culture of valuing change at all levels of your company management.

Is your company successfully leveraging the unexpected in order to deliver better, more competitive products?  See how PTC Creo can deliver the flexible, adaptable design tools you need to master change – and to turn it into opportunity and marketplace advantage.