Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Modularity: upgrading to the next generation design architecture

"Product development is no longer about creating a product but about creating a platform, or more precisely a modular architecture."

"My view is that we are living in the early years of a third revolution that will transform strategies and management processes. The first was the Industrial Revolution, the second was the information revolution, and the third (now underway) is the design revolution. The design revolution is basically about realising that there is not a direct trade off between product variety and product cost. Through modularity you can achieve very high levels of product variety, while at the same time achieving low cost for development as well as cost savings in production. Modularity is pushing out the productivity frontier in product creation and is changing the rules of competition. What some companies today are already doing with modular design is changing a lot of assumptions in management about what is possible. The first company in an industry that understands how modularity lets you approach the market in new ways and implements a modular strategy can rewrite the rules of competition."