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Introduction to Functional Requirements Analysis
and Risk Mitigation using Axiomatic Design

Typical development projects for new software, business projects, or products undergo many cycles of the "design-build-test-redesign-build-test" cycle. Under this approach, development decisions are made quickly based on experience and empirical data to reach the 80% completion level relatively quickly. Then the pain sets in -- a great deal of time is lost discovering the mistakes and poor decisions made during the early design stage. Many things have to be re-done, which takes exponentially growing time and cost when compared to doing it right the first time. From this point on, the project is on an asymptotic curve, requiring a deep pocket and exponentially longer time to finish -- a result of the philosophy that commits designed products and systems to documentation and construction without the ability for a development team to collaborate and test logical design earlier in the process. Because of these conditions, companies spend an order of magnitude more money and time in developing and deploying their products than necessary. The world is full of projects failing to deliver against the original cost, schedule, and requirements.

Axiomatic design (AD) integrated with Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) quality tools enables the development of complex systems and products (software, business processes, hardware, machines, materials, organizations, and manufacturing) quickly and systematically without depending on expensive and extensive repetition of the "design-build-test-redesign-build-test" cycle until all the bugs are discovered. Axiomatic design provides trace-ability of design logic when changes are introduced during the development phase and throughout the lifecycle of the product. Axiomatic design has shortened the product development effort and cost by orders of magnitude. Axiomatic design also enhances the ability of designers and engineers to be innovative and facilitates team work. All these things are possible because Axiomatic Design, based on rational scientific principles, offers a process to structure and organize the development process.

Axiomatic design methods implement a process where developers, managers, engineers, and designers think functionally first, followed by the innovative creation of physical embodiment. Axiomatic design also provides a systematic way of satisfying many functional requirements (FRs) at the same time without introducing coupling of functions and creating integrated physical systems. Axiomatic design provides means of decomposing higher-level FRs and physical embodiments (called design parameters, DPs) until the creation of leaf-level FRs and DPs that can be implemented to construct the system according to the resulting design decision architecture.

Complexity theory -- a result of axiomatic design -- and axiomatic design also provide guidelines for robust design and long-life of products. It prevents engineers from working on non-existent "imaginary" problems. In addition, it also shows how a system with time-dependent combinatorial complexity may be converted into a system with time-dependent periodic complexity. This will prevent system failures due to the inadvertent creation of chaotic systems.

Axiomatic design is a methodology that has been developed to aid development and increase productivity. It works.

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