This paper proposes a method for modeling and planning design processes. The method should apply to the early stages of development of which the design process is not yet concrete. A matrix-based process model that represents task dependencies provides the input for the optimization of the design process leading to a graph-based process model. The proposed approach uses graph theory for modeling and planning design processes as well as strategic scheduling of design reviews. The proposed algorithm is applicable to large-scale development projects involving numerous tasks and complicated task relationships.
The paper further discusses the application of the planning method to the design of a major device in a satellite as well as the validity of the approach. The example reduced the number of feedback loops and design reviews compared to the solution obtained by conventional planning methods using the design structure matrix.