Design Process Improvement: A review of current practice by John Clarkson
vi The process is important! I learned this lesson the hard way during my previous existence working as a design engineer with PA Consulting Group's Cambridge Technology Centre. One of my earliest assignments involved the development of a piece of labo- tory automation equipment for a major European pharmaceutical manufacturer.Two things stick in my mind from those early days - first, that the equipment was always to be ready for delivery in three weeks and,second,that being able to write well structured Pascal was not sufficient to deliver reliable software performance. Delivery was ultimately six months late,the project ran some sixty percent over budget and I gained my first promotion to Senior Engineer. At the time it puzzled me that I had been unable to predict the John Clarkson real effort required to complete the automation project - I had Reader in Engineering Design, genuinely believed that the project would be finished in three Director, Cambridge Engineering weeks.It was some years later that I discovered Kenneth Cooper's Design Centre papers describing the Rework Cycle and realised that I had been the victim of "undiscovered rework".I quickly learned that project plans were not just inaccurate,as most project managers would attest,but often grossly misleading,bearing little resemblance to actual development practice.