Browning, Tyson R. (Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University)

Tyson R. Browning

Tyson R. Browning
Neeley School of Business, TCU
Box 298530
Fort Worth, TX 76129

Phone: 817-257-5069



The Design structure matrix (DSM) is a straightforward and flexible modeling technique that can be used for designing, developing, and managing complex systems. DSM offers network modeling tools that represent the elements of a system and their interactions, thereby highlighting the system's architecture (or designed structure). Its advantages include compact format, visual nature, intuitive representation, powerful analytical capacity, and flexibility. Used primarily so far in the area of engineering management, DSM is increasingly being applied to complex issues in health care management, financial systems, public policy, natural sciences, and social systems. This presentation offers a clear and concise explanation of DSM methods for practitioners and researchers. It is based on a 2012 book of the same title co-authored by the speaker. (Elementary)


Every executive has heard about the importance of Lean. In these competitive times, fat is an unaffordable luxury. But when processes are novel and complex—as in product innovation, research, and new process development—cutting out the fat turns out to be much more challenging. Sometimes managers can confuse fat with muscle, and their efforts at efficiency can lead to an emaciated and uncompetitive organization instead of one that is Lean. So, how can you become efficient without sacrificing effectiveness? How can you cut costs while staying agile? In complex and novel environments, characterized by a need for innovation, is it even possible to be “Lean”? The answer is yes, but the path towards this goal is more challenging in a context of novelty and complexity. This presentation introduces some caveats to traditional Lean implementation, including:

• Lean does not mean emaciated. Sometimes innovative processes must add rather than remove activities to increase the value they provide.

• Value and waste cannot always be attributed to individual activities in a process. Rather, value stems from how activities work together, and waste from how they fail to do so.

• If poorly timed, or taken too far, even Lean practices can be wasteful.

• Rather than trying to reduce novelty and complexity at once, start by focusing on one or the other.

These findings are illustrated with actual industrial examples.

Please see website for additional topics and descriptions (URL above)
  • PhD, MIT

Dr. Tyson R. Browning is an internationally recognized researcher, educator, and consultant.  He is a full Professor of Operations Management in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, where he conducts research on managing complex projects (integrating managerial and engineering perspectives) and teaches MBA courses on project management, operations management, risk management, and process improvement.  A sought-after speaker, he has trained and advised several organizations, including BNSF Railway, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Seagate, Siemens, Southern California Edison, and the U.S. Navy.  He has also served as an expert witness in legal proceedings.

Prior to joining TCU in 2003, he worked for Lockheed Martin, the Lean Aerospace Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Honeywell Space Systems, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.  He earned a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Abilene Christian University before two Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from MIT.

His research results appear in journals such as  California Management Review, Decision Sciences, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Mechanical Design, Journal of Operations Management, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, Production & Operations Management, Project Management Journal, and Systems Engineering.  He is also the co-author of a book on the Design Structure Matrix (DSM).  He has given over 160 academic and industry presentations and workshops in 17 countries.

Having previously served as a Department or Associate Editor for three journals, he is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Operations Management.