In software development it is very simple to separate the software design from the software development. When we try to apply the same principle to a game development project, any and all logical approaches fail.
From the business-end of development, we could consider pre-production to be the initial design process, and production to signal the development, but it is not difficult to see the failings in this logic.
Anyone with experience in games development, or even anyone who has read a book on game development knows the design process continues alongside the development.
Valve's Cabal approach entwines design and development so tightly, that the two are inseperable, whilst other approaches see the design team as a separate entity to the development team.
How would you measure the effectiveness of your design and development teams?
Fundamentally the question we need to answer first is how do we separate the design from the development?