Product development includes many different types of decision-making by engineers and managers. Design decisions determine the product form and specify the manufacturing processes to be used. Development decisions control the progress of product development projects by specifying which activities should happen, their sequence, and who should perform them. This paper introduces the concept of a decision production system to describe a product development organization as a system of decision-makers who use and create information to develop a product. This perspective does not advocate any particular type of product development process. Instead, it looks at the organization in which the product development process exists and considers the decision-makers as a manufacturing system that can be viewed separately from the organization structure.

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