Conceptualize the Entire Product or System Before Going Too Far

Keep the Big Picture in Mind

It’s important to develop an entire product’s concept to a sufficient level of detail, before delving into detailed design, especially for more complicated systems. It’s okay to represent modules or subsystems as boxes when designing the overall architecture of a product. After that, however, enough should be known (or determined) about each box, since they are all going to interact with each other to some extent.

This point may be obvious. However, in a number of cases significant effort and resources were spent developing modules in the wrong direction, because not enough attention was paid to the overall system design ahead of time.



How To Resolve This Issue
  • Create a conceptual layout of the entire product or system.
  • Figure out basic functional, size, and interface (mechanical, electrical and control related) details of each module or subsystem.
  • Without overdoing it, spend an adequate amount of time defining the concept and architecture of each module, especially in regard to how each module will interact with the rest of the system.
  • As a cross-functional team, review and update the system’s architecture frequently, to avoid surprises.



**The article above is an excerpt of "Top 10 Mechanical Design Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)". If you enjoyed this article, sign up below to receive the full PDF!

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