Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We have been blogging a lot lately about finding the right manufacturing complexities for your hardware  projects using TrueFindings, and the many ways you can determine the most appropriate Manufacturing complexities: taking averages from related projects, finding a correlation to another descriptive parameter (like horsepower for engines), or even looking into multi-variate regression to determine the best value.  If you are a TruePlanning user, you know that Manufacturing Complexities (for structure or electronics) are the most common parameter to use in calibration, and that the manufacturing complexity drives both Production and development costs.  So, in a case where you want to calibrate production and development separately, you would typically take a second step to calibrate the development costs.  But what values would you use to calibrate development?

In a hardware program, I’ve heard of users tuning Engineering Complexity or sometimes Percent New Design after calibrating productions costs to Manufacturing Complexities.

While % New Design only impacts Development Engineering Activities, but Engineering Complexity drives both the Development Engineering and Development Manufacturing activities.  To determine the best Engineering Complexity, consider what the parameter indicates: within TP, it’s a measure of the experience of the Engineering Team, and indication of the scope of the design effort.  So if you wanted to look for a trend in Engineering complexities, what other factors might you look at for correlation?

Think about the data you could collect: Number of drawings, number of engineering change requests, average number of years’ experience on each design team.  You probably don’t want to keep every piece of information available, but If you can collect a metric and find a relationship to the calibrated factors, then it’s worth tracking!  The key is finding trends from historical data, and then using those trends to predict future costs.