Methodology

A dedicated product engineering methodology will take the ­following aspects into account:

Putting the customer in charge: There is one central entity in charge of the overall process. This is the customer, who is the authority defining the intended functionality and operating constraints of a given product.

Providing all required knowledge: A comprehensive knowledge-base, that covers all required knowledge from all phases of the process, will be provided for each of the participants.

Permitting a smooth transition along the chain: There will be support for a smooth transition between the process steps without the danger of misunderstandings or loss of knowledge. This will consist of thoroughly defined interfaces and tools.

Supporting global participation: There will be support for an operation that is independent of time and location of the individual participants.

The Pretzel model is particularly suited to support a customer-driven approach to product engineering, as it shows a way of how to introduce the necessary technology knowledge into the process that can usually not be assumed to be available to the customer in the required depth.

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The Pretzel model: interwoven top-down and bottom-up flows in product engineering.