The use of best design practices: An analysis of US navy contractors

Sylvia Stevenson, Kevin J. Dooley, John C Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rapid and successful introduction of new products is a potentially significant source of competitive advantage for manufacturing firms. Organizations need to identify and manage those critical elements of the product development process (PDP) that have a positive influence on new product success. This research identifies the distinctive product development and design practices, policies and tools currently followed by companies (Navy contractors) that participated in an empirical research study known as the Best Manufacturing Practices Program. A summary of practices reported in the case studies is compiled using content analysis techniques, and the most interesting practices by individual companies are highlighted. We find numerous examples of sophisticated CAD techniques being used to enhance the development process, including expert system design advisers, computer simulation, and design databases. Companies are emphasizing the design policies of concurrent engineering and teamwork, and documenting design process knowledge into design manuals. Company effort still appear focused primarily on the phase of detailed design rather than the concept selection phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Engineering Design
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • Best practice
  • Case study
  • Product development process
  • Strategy


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of best design practices: An analysis of US navy contractors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this