A Practical Engineering and Design Philosophy

by Richard Smith. richard@levelplain.com

Success for a company will rest in a large part with the ability to create and deploy a set of world-class products and services that can be created or manufactured efficiently and cost-effectively on as large a scale as needed by the market. The goal of creating a full set of standard products and modules that can be integrated seamlessly in response to customer requirements provides a company with an inventory of tested, proven, customizable solutions.

Across all engineering disciplines, companies must develop solutions that evolve from collective experience with a wide range of customers, projects, and challenges. The imperative not to repeat recognized missteps is as critical to a company’s future as is incorporating and improving on acknowledged design successes.

In engineering, companies should ensure that they,

• use gained knowledge and apply skills to keep solutions and processes as simple as possible.

• avoid assumptions and, instead, seek input, ask questions and make information based decisions.

• hold open-forum design reviews early and often, ensuring that no topic, feature, protocol, or design issue is off-limits.

• encourage creative solutions and nurture creative thinking.

• use rapid prototyping across software or hardware to reduce design risk as early as possible.

• make the best use of existing designs and modules.

• reuse proven components that have been successful in the past, and advance the technology only when there is a demonstrated need to do so.

• create solutions that are easy to develop or manufacture, easy to setup, easy to operate and easy to service.

• observe the end-products in use in real-world applications by customers, so that the teams get feedback and improve.

• use standards to ensure reuse and to allow them us to deliver consistent solutions to the maximum number of customers.

• continually educate themselves through self-directed study, peer-to-peer training and expert external resources as needed.

Please send any comments to richard@levelplain.com