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Knowledge Dynamics

Functional model of milestone-driven product development processes

Knowledge for decision making in milestone-driven product development processes


The development of complex products in a global environment requires efficient processes. For the planning and implementation of project management, project plans and milestones have been established. The current design status is brought together from the subartifacts at the milestones and evaluated with regard to various criteria, e.g. production-oriented design and market suitability. In order to make these decisions, the entire available knowledge (such as product knowledge, method knowledge, organizational knowledge, tool knowledge) is used. For this purpose, both communication processes and the exchange of knowledge about the technical artifacts must function smoothly throughout the entire design process. Furthermore, the decision-makers must have sufficient knowledge when merging the partial artifacts and making decisions about the milestones. The scientific investigation of such knowledge networks has so far been insufficiently executed for milestone-driven product creation processes. In this subproject, the connections between the different knowledge carriers, types of knowledge and the design process will therefore be examined extensively, a new methodology will be developed and validated using an application example.

The aim of the subproject is to develop a new approach for knowledge-based decision making in milestone-driven development processes in the context of construction engineering. In order to illustrate the links between knowledge types, knowledge carriers and artefacts, a generic reference process in combination with an effect model is developed in order to make the product, process and organisational complexity in product development processes manageable. Therefore, based on the results of episodic expert interviews, generic phases and milestones in the product development process as well as the assignment of knowledge carriers and knowledge types to the phases and milestones will be developed and presented in an effect model. Furthermore, a procedure will be developed as to how companies can use these results. Therefore, the company-specific product development process is simulated on the basis of defined phases and milestones. The information on the knowledge carriers and knowledge types can then be used to improve knowledge management and thus the implementation of product development processes.  It should therefore be made possible that the collective knowledge of the respective knowledge carriers can be made available in milestone-driven development processes in line with demand. The improvement of the supply of knowledge and its communication enables the persons involved in the development to improve the process flow in terms of time and quality.




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