Design Release Management and Communicating Intent

Created: May 22, 2017
Updated: March 16, 2020

Design plans on paper

We know that designing and releasing a product involves a multidisciplinary chain of command.  Prior to its release, the ECAD side often goes through a series of adaptations to capture the incremental changes to the design. During this stage, the ECAD data is a moving target, which can impede the flow of communication to invested parties. Failure to effectively communicate these changes can have significant consequences on the design release process, namely:

  • Poorly controlled ECAD versions and release data

  • High risk of sending the wrong version of the design to production

  • High risk of using outdated

  • Wasted time between when a design is ready for release and when it’s actually released

  • Time spent chasing and collecting manual approval signatures

  • Difficulty enforcing standard design processes

While a non-automated data management system can pose a number of threats to an anticipated product release, early detection of these risks is possible with the proper ECAD release management system.

Bridging the Gap in ECAD Release Management

In order to increase transparency among the project management team, some companies resort to implementing a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system. This takes them steps beyond the manual process, and enables them to better control their design files (however, PLM is not the most favorable approach). The payback can often be seen in many forms, including:

  • Engineers wasting less time

  • Decreased product costs

  • Improved product quality

  • Shorter development cycles

Take Control of Your Release Management Process

While many electronics companies have tried to head off these challenges using different approaches, the objective remains the same - to fully synchronize the release management process. No matter what stage your design is in, it’s never too late to consider implementing a unified ECAD management system. Doing so will give you, your company, and all stakeholders peace of mind and the security of knowing your product will meet your quality requirements.

Download a free white paper today to learn more on how Altium Vault® can help you take control of your design release management process and enhance communication across your entire design team.

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