PhD Defence at DTU Mechanical Engineering

PhD Defence 14th September: Requirements Management on Multiple Product Platforms

Monday 07 Sep 15

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Dagný Hauksdóttir from DTU Mechanical Engineering defends her PhD "Requirements Management on Multiple Product Platforms" Monday September 14th at 13:00. The defence takes place in Auditorium no. 37, Building 306, at the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby. Main supervisor is Professor Niels Henrik Mortensen.

Abstract

The main measure of the success of a system is the degree to which it meets its purpose. Therefore, identifying this purpose must be one of the main activities of product development. The Requirements Specification (RS) is important to create a written agreement among players regarding what will be included in a new product development project. It aligns expectations and represents a contract between development, project members, customer and “business owners”.

A survey conducted by the Standish group shows that some of the main reason for project failure, where systems are delivered late, do not meet the real needs of their users, and perform in an unsatisfactory way, can be directly related to incomplete requirements and poor Requirement Management (RM). A common practice in product development is to reuse design elements to take advantages of common and already implemented design assets, to increase productivity. Requirements reuse can be beneficial in terms of improving requirement quality and increasing the efficiency of generating RSs. Requirements reuse also plays an important role in platform based product development, as requirements capture shared and varying customer needs.

The objective of this research has been to establish new knowledge and methods for RM on multiple product platforms. To address this issue, this research project was initiated as a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Danfoss Power Electronics (PE), a provider of electrical drives. The main original results of the research are the following:

• A structuring method for reusable requirements, with the purpose of increasing the consistency and reusability between RSs.

• A technique for writing requirements, with the objective of providing an applicable method that can be used to write clear and reusable requirements.

• An identification and insight into adjustability dimensions, which present the dimensions of changes that can be implemented, when designing an approach for generating product specific RSs, by reuse.

• A method for mapping customer requirements to architecture based on five product views, including an approach to mapping requirements to the architecture domains and a new way to work with requirements in the solution domain views.

• A description of a RM strategy that can be used as a tool for aligning and institutionalizing requirement operations across the organization.

The requirements structuring- and the requirements writing techniques have been widely applied by the industrial partner company and have been used by a high number of users, in real life development projects, for multiple product domains at different development sites, with positive results. By argumentation, it can be justified that the established methods are applicable for mechatronic products. The resulting techniques can be expected to support requirements reuse by providing methods to build a consistent and reusable requirements asset, which is a prerequisite for the practice. In addition, insight is provided that can enable practitioners to establish more sustainable requirements reuse approaches. The research results mainly contribute to the theory of RM. In addition the results contribute to the theory of product platforms by generating approaches that enable reuse of requirements assets and to the theory of technical systems by providing a new insight of the problem domain, new domain views and new ways of mapping and managing requirements in the architectural domains.