Redesigning a product family entails carefully balancing the tradeoffs between commonality and differentiation that are governed by the underlying platform architecture. Numerous metrics for commonality and variety exist to support product family design; however, rarely are they used in concert to redesign platforms effectively. In this paper, we introduce an integrated approach using multiple product family metrics to establish an effective platform redesign strategy. Specifically, we present a detailed procedure to integrate the Generational Variety Index (GVI), Product Line Commonality Index (PCI), and Design Structure Matrix (DSM) to prioritize components for redesign based on variety and commonality needs. The integrated approach extends to the platform architecture and establishes a redesign strategy for interfaces between components in the platform architecture. To demonstrate the approach, case studies involving two generations of wireless computer mice and two families of dishwashers are presented. Ongoing and future work are also discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.