The Value and Costs of Modularity Carliss Y. Baldwin Harvard Business School

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The Value and Costs of
Modularity
Carliss Y. Baldwin
Harvard Business School
June 21, 2001
The Market Value of the Computer Industry
By sector, 1950-1996 in constant 1996 US dollars
180
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Year
Slide 2
SIC Code or Company
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
The Market Value of the Computer Industry
By sector, 1950-1996 in constant 1996 US dollars
1000
900
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100
0
50
Slide 3
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95
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Modularity Creates Design Options
System Before Modularization
System after Modularization
Design
Rules
System
Option
Option
Option
Option
Split options,
decentralize decisions,
fragment control
Evolution
Slide 4
Option
Option
Option
Option
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Design Structure Matrix Map of a Laptop Computer
Drive
System
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Graphics controller on Main Board or not?
If yes, screen specifications change;
If no, CPU must process more; adopt different interrupt protocols
Slide 5
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Eliminating Interdependencies by Creating a
New Design Rule
Design
Rules
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Graphics Controller - Yes/no
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Slide 6
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Packaging
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© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Modularization of a Laptop Computer Design
Design
Rules
Drive
System
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Design Rules Task Group
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Main
Board
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Screen
Packaging
System
Testing
& Integration
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Slide 7
Hidden Modules
many Task groups
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System
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and Testing
x Task Group
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© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
A Two-level Modular Design Hierarchy
Global Design Rules
Module A
Module B
Module C
Module D
System
Integration
& Testing
The system comprises four "hidden" modules and a "System Integration and Testing"
stage. From the standpoint of the designers of A B, C, and D (the hidden modules),
system integration and testing is simply another module: they do not need to know the
details of what goes on in that phase as long as they adhere to the global design rules.
Obviously, the converse is not true: the integrators and testers have to know something
about the hidden modules in order to do their work. How much they need to know depends
on the completeness of the design rules. Over time, as knowledge accumulates, more
testing will occur within the modules, and the amount of information passed to the
integrators will decrease. The special, time-dependent role of integration and testing
is noted by the heavy black border around and gray shading within the "module."
Slide 8
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
The Effect of Six Operators on a Modular System
System I Global Design Rules
Module F
Design Rules
Module C
System
Integration
& Testing
Module
Module B
B
System I
Module F
Translator
D-E Design Rules
F-1
F-2
System II Design Rules
System II
Module F
Translator
System II Modules ...
Module G
Module A
Design Rules
A-1
A-2
Splitting
F-3
Module D
Module E
Architectural
Module
A-3
Substitution
Exclusion
Augmenting
Inversion
Porting
We started with a generic two-level modular design structure, as shown in Figure 5-3, but with six modules (A, B, C, D, E, F) instead of four. (To display
the porting operator, we moved the "System Integration & Testing Module" to the left-hand side of the figure.) We then applied each operator to a
different set of modules.
Module A was
into three sub-modules.
Split
Three different
were developed for Module B.
Substitutes
Module C was
Excluded.
A new Module G was created to
the system.
Augment
Common elements of Modules D and E were
Subsystem design rules and an architectural module were developed to allow the inversion.
Inverted.
Module F was
Ported. First it was split; then its "interior" modules were grouped within a shell; then translator modules were developed.
The ending system is a three-level system, with two
performing the functions of Modules A, D and E in the old system.
modular subsystems
In addition to the standard hidden modules, there are three kinds of special modules, which are indicated by heavy black borders and shaded interiors:
System Integration & Testing Module
Architectural Module
Translator Module(s)
Slide 9
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Modularity Creates Design Options
System Before Modularization
System after Modularization
Design
Rules
System
Option
Option
Option
Option
Split options,
decentralize decisions,
fragment control
Evolution
Slide 10
Option
Option
Option
Option
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
The Basic Framework of our Model of Modular Design Process
Stages
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Time
Line
Create
Task
Structure &
Design Rules
Implement
Task
Structure
for Modules
Test,
Integrate,
Evaluate
System
What Actually Happens
Actions
Choose
operators
Events
Splitting
Substituting
Augmenting
Excluding
Inverting
Carry out
tasks
Test results &
Exercise options
"The Wheel Spins"
Economic
value is revealed;
Best outcomes
are selected
A payoff in
the form of
An outcome is drawn
from the distribution
The value corresponding
to the outcome of the
a random
variable is
of the random variable.
random variable
is revealed; where
Porting
Mathematical Representation
Benefits
chosen.
Costs
Basis of
Choice
options exist, the best
outcomes are selected.
→
X
X
Cost of
designing
Cost of
implementing
Cost of
testing and
task
structure
task
structure
integration
Highest
Net Option
Value
Highest
Net Option Value
given task structure
Highest
Value given
outcomes and tests
X
max (X, 0)
The Value of Splitting and Substitution
30
25
20
15
Value
10
5
0
25
21
17
25
13
19
No. of Experiments
9
13
No. of Modules
5
7
1
Slide 12
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
The Value of the Modules of a Workstation
0.18
0.16
0.14
0.12
0.1
0.08
0.06
0.04
1
5
9
No. of
13
Experimen
0.02
17
0
21
25
Slide 13
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
Co-evolutionary Dynamics across the Levels of the Economic System
Level
Elements
Structure
Knowledge of How to Design Property Rights; Valuation Technologies
Governments
Capital Markets
Mechanisms to Create and Enforce Contracts;
Contract
Systems of Adjudication and Dispute Resolution
Structure
Accounting and Payment Systems based on
Contract
Money (a Contractual Claim on a Government);
Structure
Practices that standardize the Exchange
of Money and other Contractual Claims
Financial
Firms (= Enterprises)
Contract
Institutions
that Design and Supply
Structure
Monetary and other Contractual Claims
Contracting Technologies
Goods and
Marketplaces for Goods and Services;
Contract
Labor Markets
Practices that standardize th Exchange
Employment
of Goods, Services and
Structure
Organizations
Firms (= Enterprises)
that Design and Supply
Goods and Services
Contract
New Firms
Structure
Scientific and Technical Knowledge
Design
New Products
Task
Tasks
Processes
M
Structure
Designs
Design
Parameters
Design
Structure
Artifacts
Molecules,
Artifact
Spatial Forms,
Structure
Programs, Words
Colors, Sounds
Slide 14
© Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, 2001
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