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Osyssey A Web Based Design System

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.481.1 - 5.481.7

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Edward H. McMahon

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2520

Odyssey - A Web-Based Design System

Edward McMahon The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


A web-based design system has been developed for capturing, sharing, and deliberating on design information. The system is based on a process-based design model and a traditional project management model.

The process model is based on a matrix of activities and issues. The activities include Generate, Evaluate, and Select. Many issues are considered in design, e.g. problem definition, requirements, functions, alternatives and layout design. The web-based design system also includes a traditional project management model for defining and assigning tasks. The project management model has a hierarchical structure from a Milestone, to an Objective, to a Goal, to a Task. The task is linked to a matrix and issue. Support systems are included for asking questions, making comments, assigning tasks, entering status reports, and making team decisions.

The students found the combination of the process-based and project-based system easy to use. Future plans include integrating web-based instructions/help with the design system and incorporation of distance meetings.

I. Background

Previous Efforts - The process-based approach to the engineering design of products is based on a design matrix that models the design process and a deliberation model that captures the design rationale1.

Design Matrix - The Design Matrix combines the features of design methodology and a design process model. The Design Matrix is a way of organizing the design issues and activities 2. A schematic for a simplified Design Matrix is shown below. The process-based model provides a flexible framework to address the complexities of design. In an actual design many matrices would be included for different functional areas (including marketing, manufacturing, maintenance, etc.) and for different levels of detail (subassemblies and components). The format remains the same, only the issues vary.

McMahon, E. H. (2000, June), Osyssey A Web Based Design System Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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