Rob, I first ran into the "mautrity/capability model" concept in the software engineering field while working in the aerospace industry. There were five levels. I worked in organizations that were level 4 and 5. That is why I did not run into many of the issues that seem to continue to plague software development today. An organization that is at SMI level 4 is likely to be involving employees on a continuous basis and to be looking at ways to improve all the time. This not only leads to higher profits over time, but to better employee morale and productivity. Of course the main goal is to improve safety, which does the same thing. I have actually seen companies put out of business because of accidents. They could all be avoided.
What should be the perception of a productís real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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