Pugh (1990) developed the product development process and a set of discipline-independent methodologies to carry out the process, such as customer surveys, the product design specification document, and the method of controlled convergence. In the Pugh method a decision matrix is prepared with columns to identify design concepts (Variant) and the rows to represent criteria. A design team chooses both concepts and criteria. One of the column concepts is chosen as a datum against which all others are to be judged. In the matrix cells for each row criteria a plus (+), zero (0), or minus (−) sign is then used to indicate whether the concept is better, equivalent, or less than that of the datum. For each concept the number of plus and minus signs is noted and the best concept is selected. Omitted concepts with unique plus cells are especially studied to provide insight. New concepts (variants or designs) are now formed, criteria modified and added, a new datum selected, and the process repeated. The process requires continuous elaboration until the datum column becomes uniquely best. This variant initiates the final detailed design process.
The “selection among alternative concepts” criterion has multiple interpretations. The multi-attribute matrix-oriented techniques are often used to select among overall product concepts, while the statistical methods are more typically used to select among process alternatives and among more detailed design differences. This criterion demonstrates the main strength for some of the more mathematically rigorous approaches. Not surprisingly such approaches have little basis for generating alternatives. In contrast, knowledge-based approaches such as AI and TRIZ are much better for generating alternatives than for choosing among them. Approaches such as QFD and Pugh attempt to aid in both.
04/07/2015 · We call this concept synthesis
provides a cursory rating of several tools with respect to potential values in current use, concept creation, concept development, selection among alternative concepts, and ease of use. Some decision analysis and applied decision theories are also included in this comparison. Concurrent engineering is included here as a tool, but it is more of an operating philosophy. It has its primary basis in the economics of product and process development, whereas the other approaches with a primary basis in economics build on theories of preferences (e.g., von Neumann-Morgenstern axioms).