Title: A methodology for the performance analysis of product validation and test plans

Authors: Armen Zakarian

Addresses: Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, University of Michigan – Dearborn, Dearborn, MI 48128, USA

Abstract: Companies in a variety of industries that develop complex products have well-defined processes for developing product validation plans (to determine the number and types of prototypes needed for new product development) and test plans (to determine how tests are scheduled on each prototype). Uncertainty is prevalent in product validation and testing, with test execution times and prototype availability being among the most variable. The methodology developed in this research explicitly considers uncertainty and develops models and algorithms for the performance analysis of product validation and test plans. It also evaluates the tradeoffs between the various performance criteria of the validation plan, e.g., on-time performance, cost (number of test prototypes used) and quality (number and types of requirements validated). The application of the approach is presented with an industrial example of the performance analysis of vehicle validation and test schedules.

Keywords: product validation plans; decision support; programme evaluation and review technique; PERT; Markov models; analytical models; tradeoff analysis; vehicle validation; complex products; prototype availability; uncertainty; testing; test execution times; algorithms; performance analysis; performance criteria; on-time performance; costs; performance quality; test schedules; new product development; NPD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.031979

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.10 No.4, pp.369 - 392

Published online: 03 Mar 2010 *

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