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Architectural Trade-Offs & Target Costing for Co-Design

Overview

Brad Goldense, President, Goldense Group Inc.
The evolution of technology has led to increased complexity in design planning. In today's world of design there are typically several design alternatives available for any given feature. Designers must make choices early in the project as to the best way to implement a given feature. How, then, do most designers choose? Many choose the alternative that facilitates rapid design and/or those that fall most naturally into their own design competencies. Many designers interact with projects, and the planning thereof, at a level of detail below the level at which management makes its trade-offs. Yet, many design trade-off decisions left to lower levels of the organization significantly impact management-level Economic Trade-off Analysis. How does one improve the linkage between the impact of trade-offs made at lower levels and the bottom-line, management-level, analysis? In this feature article, Goldense presents a tool which, in conjunction with Economic Trade-off Analysis, may provide a scalable methodology for helping make such trade-offs. This tool, the "Target Costing For Co-Design Matrix" [TCCM] will add some work to the project up-front, during the Definition Phase, but like most other up-front analyses, claims Goldense, it is usually a worthwhile investment.
(4 pages)

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