Analyzing communication dependencies using the design structure matrix

Clemens Hepperle, Anja M. Maier, Mathias Kreimeyer, Udo Lindemann, P John Clarkson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


For the design and development of complex technical products, communication between staff who work across functional and organizational boundaries plays an important role. However, the quality of communication is hard to measure. One method to assess communication is the Communication Grid Method (CGM) [1, 2]. The CGM is a maturity-based form of self-assessment to reflect on different factors influencing communication in product development. The factors belong to manifold areas influencing communication, such as the organizational structure, the company culture, teamwork, different aspects of information transfer and availability as well as several aspects of product representations. In a number of CGM-based studies, designers and managers from a number of industry sectors gave insight into their communication situation by scoring the current state of 24 factors influencing communication. To do so, the participants chose between four maturity levels, adapted from the learning types by Argyris & Schön [3], for each factor influencing communication. This data were used in the presented study to explore interrelations between the different factors describing communication. Within the correlations, a number of structural patterns were ascertained. 
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2007
Event9th International Design Structure Matrix Conference (DSM'07) - Munich, Germany
Duration: 16 Oct 200718 Oct 2007


Conference9th International Design Structure Matrix Conference (DSM'07)
Abbreviated titleDSM07


  • connectors
  • design structure matrix
  • communication
  • organization design
  • change propagation
  • product development
  • concurrent engineering


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