Requirements- and Change-Management within the Top-Down Development of Mechatronic Products

Field of Study


Mechatronic products, development process, technical requirements management, engineering change management


The increasing interconnection between mechanics, electronics and software in mechatronic products results in growing interest in a discipline independent product development process. Due to an early allocation of requirements to the technical disciplines highly optimized subsystems emerge instead of overall optimized products. In addition, a variety of discipline dependent requirements impede the internal communication as well as the communication with external stakeholders. Thus the development activities are often executed sequentially which results in an extended time to market. Furthermore changes made to subsystems are challenging due to missing traceability, undefined interfaces between the technical disciplines and imprecise impact estimations of the changes.


The project’s goal is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the development process of mechatronic products by providing a methodical procedure adapted to the existing boundaries and constraints of SMEs. The procedure is based on a top-down development process that includes a particular discipline independent activity to enable a seamless participation of the development task to the technical disciplines. Thus the disadvantages caused by an early requirement allocation to the specific technical disciplines can be prevented. The focus is on a discipline-independent management of requirements to allow a wide range of solutions during the development process and ensure an easy transition of the development activities to the technical disciplines. Furthermore the tracing of decisions regarding changes and requirements allows an efficient implementation of the requirements and a successful forecast of the impact on the entire development process.


A new development process, adapted on the conditions of SMEs, is generated based on the state of the art and an analysis of development processes of the project partners. The procedure supports the discipline-independent technical requirements management as well as the engineering change process. In addition, a pool of selected methods is defined to ensure an easy application of the procedure and further improve the technical requirements and engineering change management. Finally the approach is evaluated by applying the procedure on selected development projects. The project’s research results in a guideline, which supports SMEs during the development of mechatronic products by providing a general procedure fitting the challenges of developing mechatronic products as well as tools and methods to define discipline independent requirements and manage the technical changes.

Project Partners

Medium-sized industrial enterprises from Bayerische Metall- und Elektro-Arbeitsgeber

bayme vbm

Project Term

May 2015 to April 2017