Under the current trend of globalization, companies develop products not only to target a single market but to sell them to the entire world. Companies realize the importance of collaborative design, or workshare, to develop global regional engineering centers to balance design variations while ensuring local market success. This paradigm shift enables diverse customer values to be integrated into products but also introduces challenges in the management of work distribution. Extensive industry case studies have shown that capability and capacity of the regional centers drive the workshare decisions; however, this strategy overlooks the interdependence of the design systems causing many delays and quality problems. Seeing the opportunity, this paper presents a method to identify and to quantify the system-level workshare risk based on the couplings of system components to evaluate the overall workshare scenarios. The risk analysis consists of two key elements in terms of two relationships, the division of work for distributions (i.e., component coupling) and the work assignments of the distributed teams (i.e., workshare coupling), as well as an algorithm to combine the relationships to calculate the workshare risk. To illustrate the steps of the risk analysis, this paper applies it to a hair dryer design as a case study. The paper also discusses the usages and characteristics of the risk analysis, and concludes with the future research and the next steps of generalizing the method to other product development projects.

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