Workflow automation for product design and engineering has been a linear process for many organizations. Though the design process has become more iterative through engineering project management software and agile development programs, it has remained fairly insulated from the rest of the organization, including the purveyors of the products (the sales staff) and often the end users (customers).
Information Workflows Expanding
Workflow automation for design needs to a greater degree, to incorporate information and input from other areas of the organization that are part of the product lifecycle. And to the extent these inputs are real-time, all the better. So by viewing the product lifecycle as a “cradle-to-grave” workflow we understand that to improve this workflow’s velocity, accuracy, efficiency, and ultimately profitability requires expanding, in all directions, the information communicated within the lifecycle. In electronics, much is this accomplished through feedback loops (i.e., inputs, as part of a chain of cause-and-effects that form a circuit or loop).