Mechanical Engineering

Engineering during the “Fuzzy Front End” of development

The “fuzzy front end” of product development can pose some unique challenges for engineers.

What’s the “fuzzy front end”? It’s the phase between first consideration of an opportunity and when it’s deemed ready to enter a structured development process. A common characteristic of the “fuzzy front end” is the desire to create and evaluate multiple concept alternatives on the road to selecting a single preferred approach.

It’s pursuing multiple concepts that often pose a special chicken-or-the-egg challenge for engineering because you:

  1. Don’t have a complete design to assess feasibility.
  2. Can’t fully assess feasibility without a complete design.

This dilemma means engineers must thoughtfully assess competing concepts to identify areas of high risk. They also need to perform sufficient engineering to prove/disprove that a concept can be made to work during a subsequent engineering phase.

Read the full article at MD+DI online.

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