Industrial evaluation of FBS Linkage – a method to support engineering change management
Engineering changes are raised throughout the product lifecycle and their management can determine the commercial success of products. A well-established method to support engineering change management is the Change Prediction Method (CPM). The FBS Linkage method enhances CPM with a function-behaviour-structure (FBS) scheme and allows more detailed modelling and analysis of engineering changes. The goal of this paper is to provide an industrial evaluation of the FBS Linkage method. For that purpose, we provide first an overview of the FBS Linkage method, before applying it to a diesel engine design and evaluating it by a group of ten experienced engineers from the diesel engine manufacturer. Overall, the engineers favoured the FBS Linkage method and ranked it on average 3.7 out of 5.0 against a set of 25 different requirements for ECM methods. The evaluation underlines the benefits of the method in terms of a systematic way for capturing, explaining and transferring knowledge about the product and effects of engineering changes on it. Identified improvement areas include more guidelines on the scope of the method, reduction of the effort required to build FBS Linkage models, and an integration of the method into other applied systems.