Management challenges in the design phase of collaborative R&D projects
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The engineering and design of complex systems often requires that multiple design tasks be executed in parallel or overlapping efforts. When the design of individual subsystems is distributed among multiple organizations, challenges arise with respect to managing design productivity and coordinating successful collaborative exchanges. Research and development engineering projects compound these challenges further due to their inherently greater uncertainty. This report examines several factors that influence design productivity in the collaborative research and development environment, including the selection of subsystem interfaces, design information management, and complexity management. A collaborative research and development project to upgrade the Hobby-Eberly Telescope is introduced to provide case examples and illustrate the proposed value of subsequent management recommendations.