Managing design freezes plays an important part in today’s competitive markets and successful freeze management can make the difference between delivering a product in time and in budget or failed design projects. On the one hand, design managers want to limit change propagation by freezing components or component-interfaces in order to avoid unwanted change propagation and to meet design lead-times. On the other hand freezing the design of a component too early can constrain innovation and having to unfreeze a design that was frozen before can add further redesign costs. This paper introduces an algorithm for determining an optimal change freeze order (CFO) based on combined change risks and component redesign cost, which has been applied in an automotive company in the design of a diesel engine.

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