It is hard to plan tasks using tools for conventional project management in the complex process of product design and development when considering the essential exchange of information necessary in this interdisciplinary, concurrent engineering activity. The dependency structure matrix (DSM) is a useful tool to identify iterative information flows between processes and plan a strategy for managing them. Beyond quality, successful product development is dependent on its time and resource consumption, and the less iteration the project undergoes, the more successful it will be. Extending work done by others utilizing a binary DSM to minimize product development iteration, this paper presents a quantitative form of DSM, called QDSM, with a score of the relative importance of the information dependency of coupled iterations between system elements and through an example explains some of its applications and benefits. QDSM can be used by project managers to more effectively optimize project iteration.

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