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Design007-Mar2020

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24 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 Shaughnessy: Even that may be optimistic. Westerhoff: You're right. Digging deeper, 30% of projects were delivered on time, but only by pulling in additional staff, 28% were deliv- ered late, and 17% of projects were canceled entirely (quite possibly as a result of resources pulled to bail out other projects). The bottom line is that design projects had a 25% success rate, and that's a problem. Why does this happen? Consider all the dif- ferent requirements designers are trying to ac- commodate: SI, PI, EMC, mechanical clearanc- es, vibration, reliability, and so on. Designers live in a world where all of these things have all become specialties or have expert domains. Designers have a network of specialists around them, whose time and input they need to move their design forward. The problem is that each specialist looks at a different slice of the de- sign, but how does all that input get integrat- ed and turned into a holistic view that guides design trade-offs? How do those decisions get made? Does the designer understand enough of each of the specialist's inputs to make the right trade-offs in the design of the board? The an- swer, based on the success rate, is perhaps not. Another fascinating thing was when we asked our customers about the challenges they Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 At DesignCon, I met up with Todd Wester- hoff, product marketing manager for high- speed design at Mentor, a Siemens Business, to discuss common design profitability issues and cost-aware PCB design. He explains how simple problems can "slip through the cracks" and cause delays, what you can do, and how first-order analysis can make simulation acces- sible to designers who wouldn't simulate oth- erwise. Andy Shaughnessy: Tell us about how the "small stuff" can get you in trouble. You say that we, as designers, take care of the big challenges pretty well, but projects get held up anyway. Todd Westerhoff: Lifecycle Insights ran a study about a year ago that I find to be quite tell- ing. They asked companies questions, such as, "How much simulation do you use in your process? Do you hit the mark in terms of your time, budget, or release date?" The two most interesting findings had to do with schedule and budget. They found that only one in four projects gets delivered on time and on budget (in other words, according to plan). Mentor: Managing Small Problems for Profitability Todd Westerhoff

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