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The objective of this paper is to do a bibliometric analysis that focuses on identifying the most co-cited papers about DSM literature only journals that is connected with project management. The result shows that DSM can be used with different approaches like traditional, hybrid or agile project management. Gephi: an open source software for exploring and manipulating networks. Bibliometrics and citation analysis. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, Applying the design structure matrix to system decomposition and integration problems: a review and new directions.

Design Structure Matrix Methods and Applications | The MIT Press

Design structure matrix extensions and innovations: a survey and new opportunities. Modeling impacts of process architecture on cost and schedule risk in product development.

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CHEN, C. Project scheduling for collaborative product development using DSM. International Journal of Project Management, v. CHO, S.

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A simulation-based process model for managing complex design projects. The use of dependence structure matrix and domain mapping matrix in managing uncertainty in multiple project situations. Planning concurrency and managing iteration in projects. Project Management Journal, v. A model-based method for organizing tasks in product development. Research in Engineering Design, v. Design structure matrix methods and applications. Innovation at the speed of Innovation. Harvard Business Review, v. From bibliographic coupling to cocitation analysis via algorithmic historio-bibliography. The theoretical concepts and applications are explored with a focus on the application of DSM within program management.

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The application of both Design Structure Matrix and Alignment Matrix is finally reflected upon from a program management perspective drawing on insights on how projects communicate and coordinate within a program. The tool has existed in graph theory before, but work by Tyson R. Browning and Ali Yassine in fields of systems engineering and project management has made this tool a subject of interest and relevance in this course.

While many of the tools like Gantt charts and PERT allow sequential modeling of processes, they do not address interdependencies, especially when it comes to complex product development projects A.


DSM is a powerful tool that helps visualize these interactions, exchange of information and dependency patterns between sub-systems. There are two types of DSMs, static and time-based. Elements like components of product architecture and groups in an organization are examples of static DSM while time-based activities with precedence conditions constitute time-based DSMs. The tool can be implemented on an IT platform or it could be a simple Excel sheet or paper.

Introduction to DSM

Four basic types of interdependency data can be represented on a DSM. They can represent information relations among components of a product, teams working on a project, activities or tasks and parameter Browning, The subsystems or elements are filled in the row and column headers of the table and the interdependency data are then mapped onto the matrix like the figure below. Understanding complex systems like products, processes, and organizations can be a challenge.

Interdependencies between subsystems elements can often be difficult to show or document and can be the causes of system behaviors. A classical approach to understanding complex systems is to model it by breaking it down into subsystems which are easier to comprehend. Those same interdependencies seem much more clear and easy to grasp when modeled or mapped on a matrix cause of the simple and graphical nature of a matrix.

Besides, the tool is compact and systematic which makes it easy to use no matter the size of the system. Those two elements can have the following three interdependency configurations. Either they both function in parallel and are concurrent systems, or one system element is dependent on another or finally, or the system elements are coupled and are interdependent.

If these configurations are to be modeled on a directed graph diagraph with nodes as the system elements and directed links arrows showing interdependencies, then they can be modeled as shown below. However, if these same three configurations were to be represented by a matrix, then it could be done in a binary square where 1 or a mark like a dot or X marks the dependency of an element in the row to the corresponding element in the column at the intersection. Considering that most systems have several elements, the matrix structure appears to be a practical and applicable tool as discussed above.

Additionally, the data representation within cells of a matrix can be adapted to show varying degrees of dependency. Below, is a whole range of applications of the tool corresponding to the data types ranging from performing system analysis to systems design. This article will be focusing on an application in performing system analysis.

A detailed explanation of clustering can be found in the reference T. Pimmler, S. ASME 6th Int. It was developed in the field of product development to aid managers between different sub-component development teams in identifying key areas where planned communication failures could occur. The uncommon areas after overlaying reveal the unattended and unidentified interfaces of technical communication.

The thinking behind this application is that every product development project should focus on the certain critical points of contact between development teams.

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  • It is chosen because of the program management perspective that can be reflected upon, drawing on insights on how projects communicate and coordinate within a program. The product development manager in the below can be seen as or compared to the program manager with the different sub-component development teams as mini-projects under the same program. This statement will become clear by reading the case. Like any complex product, the engine was divided into 8 components which were further subdivided into 5 to 10 sub-components.

    Note that 6 out of the 8 systems were considered modular. That made up a total of 54 component development teams, each having its own design and development team Sosa et al, ; Havard Business Review. Besides these, there were 6 system integration teams who were responsible for the engine as a whole.

    While each team had to develop their own component, it was also necessary to integrate the designs with that of other components. Sometimes, the links between components were not just physical but involved an exchange of either energy heat, vibrations or a media like fuel or air. These links were also critical for engine performance and a bit more difficult to anticipate as they sometimes did not reflect in the product architecture or specifications clearly.

    Any losses or failures in communication at this stage can be critical to the outcome of the project. For this purpose, the researchers proposed the application of DSMs to map out the situation in order to identify failure possibilities. Identifying the design interfaces Researchers started by working with the product architects to identify all the components and the interfaces between them.