Originally published as a part of 2007 PMI Global Congress
Proceedings – Budapest
In the past decades specific principles were
guiding product development in the space industry, like maximum performance and
minimum weight. At the same time, the availability of funds driven from
institutional and military budgets, as well as the existence of captive markets,
made the cost of product not the critical factor in product design.
Things have now drastically changed: reduction of budgets and increase of
commercial competition induced a request for minimum cost and shorter delivery
time. That means that time and cost have to be taken into account as a major
criterion for technical decisions.
Purpose of this paper is to present a structured “design to cost” methodology
useful to manage complex product development applied to space applications.
Although many attempts have been done to identify relationships between a system
technical performance and the cost of its components, with the aim to better
drive design with respect to market target price, these efforts have not
provided more than simple tools to make preliminary estimations. An approach
suitable to explicit these relationships may be more effective when based on
This methodology is based on the implementation of the Quality Function
Deployment technique, a method which is commonly used in certain industrial
sectors (i.e. automotive and consumer electronics). The QFD allows to give
priority to customer’s needs, to retain information, and to eliminate any
ambiguity on requirement interpretation throughout company departments.
The methodology was developed and tested in Alcatel Alenia Space, the leading
European company in space industry. The conventional QFD technique was modified
to be adapted to the product development process implemented in the company,
while the Analytic Hierarchy Process has been used to rank expert judgements and
the Data Envelopment Analysis to perform selection among different design