Hardware design is a complex field which requires a number of different steps and procedures done in a particular manner. This is made even more complicated by the fact that now, remote work and globalized teams have become a norm. Previously, things were a bit easier as hardware development would be done by a few select people physically present in the same place.
With the digital age, and increasingly globalized teams, this has changed immensely. Teams might be spread across continents, and on top of that, there are numerous other stakeholders involved when it comes to commercial hardware design. This results in major change management issues, with the smallest of changes having to be communicated to a variety of stakeholders. After all, with both technical and non-technical parties involved, the whole procedure can face unsurmountable hurdles if not handled in an organized manner.
Manually managing such changes in an industry as comprehensive as hardware development is a recipe for misunderstandings and errors. Therefore, there is a need for a singular platform offering all the features which will communicate these changes and also make it easier for the changes to be made.
How is this possible?
Efficient change management may seem like an unsurmountable hurdle, but with the right set of tools, it can be quite easy. One of these tools is version control, which can be said to be the core of change management in the hardware development industry.
With version control, engineers can work on a product design simultaneously without affecting each other’s workflow. Once they’re done with their parts, and have tested them, they can push these changes to the Master branch, where they will be committed.
However, that’s not where it ends! Once these changes are made, all the stakeholders can see who made what changes, and when. They can comment on these changes by using annotation features, and make all the suggestions they wish to.
Version control systems allow all stakeholders to note these changes, and react accordingly. For example, suppliers can adjust their inventory ad manufacturers can adjust their processes. In addition, other designers and engineers on the team can review these changes and approve them according to their level of hierarchy.
It must be noted that this whole system does not mean that just anyone can access or make these changes. The administrators of the chosen projects can choose what sort of access to give to which stakeholder. They can let engineers make all the changes they want, while suppliers and manufacturers will receive read-only accesses. This means that no interference or accidental changes take place. Therefore, change management can become a highly efficient and streamlined process as long as the proper tools are in use.
If you want to know where you can find these tools, do check out InventHub, your go-to platform for streamlined collaborative hardware design. It has all the tools mentioned above and much more! These tools will streamline your workflow, and make things easier for hardware development across the board, whether it is on a hobbyist level or at a commercial scale.