Companies strive to carry out product design and development as a systematic, integrated and managed process. This is the foundation for modern engineering design methodologies. Such methodologies prescribe a systematic process to go from customer needs to finalized product and production system. With this comes the breakdown of the development process into relevant phases, and components of these phases, identification of decision nodes, documentation, and the use of supporting methods and tools. The usage of product design and development methodologies is claimed to reduce lead-times (fewer iterations in late phases), increase quality (systematic requirement control), and the opportunity to create new, and innovative solutions, through the importance that the early concept phase is given and the importance of always working with multiple solution candidates.
There are a number of alternative methodologies that do have a common core, but also contain differences in terms of applicability and underlying philosophy. Some questions that arise are “what is the common core?” and “what differences are motivated by the respective discipline?”.
Furthermore, the practical application in industry has not reached the level anticipated by the “spokespersons” of the methodologies, a fact that points out the need for further, situation-adopted, methodologies.