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Knowledge maturity as decision support in stage-gate product development: a case from the aerospace industry
Luleå tekniska universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4875-391X
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In today’s fast-paced industry where fight for market share is fierce and reaching the market ahead of competition imperative, product development is a target for lead-time reductions. In this context, in product development in stage-gate processes, decisions need to be made even though knowledge and information are scarce and flawed. The challenge is how to support the decisions that are made in light of uncertainty and ambiguity. The thesis moves from analysing the role of the stage-gate process within the aerospace industry. The stage-gate process was more than a decision making mechanism, and instead a mechanism that facilitated communication, discussion and knowledge sharing between team members, as well as supported knowledge creation and shaping of the boundaries between people’s different perceptions of the knowledge base. However, the communicative and negotiative function of the stage-gate was highly dependent on the ability of the participating individuals to reflect on the status and quality of the available knowledge assets used throughout the process. To make this reflective activity an explicit part of the stage-gate practice, this thesis proposes the application of a knowledge maturity concept at the gates to raise the decision makers’ awareness of the status of the knowledge assets handled at the decision point. The knowledge maturity concept considers three basic dimensions: input, method/tool and experience/expertise in assessing the knowledge base maturity. The scale is intended to act as a boundary object, facilitating the knowledge creation process by highlighting the current status of the knowledge base and making stakeholders aware of the nature of the project’s uncertainties and ambiguities. In the knowledge maturity concept, its purpose is to support design teams at the gates in taking appropriate action, mitigating risk and focusing their efforts on improving the knowledge assets where it is needed most, regarding the situation at hand and, finally, to make more confident decisions.The thesis was developed within the EU FP6 VIVACE (Value Improvement through a Virtual Aeronautical Collaborative Enterprise) and EU FP7 CRESCENDO (Collaborative and Robust Engineering using Simulation Capability Enabling Next Design Optimisation) projects, and within the Faste Laboratory, a VINNOVA Excellence Centre involving partners from the Swedish manufacturing industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2009. , 67 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1544
Keyword [en]
Knowledge Maturity, Knowledge Management, Stage-Gate, Decision Support, Product Development, Product-Service Systems, Aerospace
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-12129ISBN: 978-91-7439-050-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-12129DiVA: diva2:938513
Public defence
2009-12-18, B192, Luleå, 01:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework ProgrammeVINNOVA
Available from: 2016-06-17 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. On the way to knowledge awareness in early design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the way to knowledge awareness in early design
2007 (English)In: / [ed] Frank-Lothar Krause, Berlin, Germany: Springer , 2007, 607-616 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper discusses views on decision support in product development to identify factors of relevance when designing computer-based decision sup- port for total offers. Providing services in form of physical artefacts of- fered as ‘functions per unit’ is at the heart of total offers. Total offers gain access to possibilities to ‘design in’ value added characteristics into the physical artefact, e.g., maintenance, monitoring, training, remanufacture. Contemporary computer tools seem to be insufficient to support a GO/NO GO decision for total offers. Relevant factors to take into consideration are to support learning and provide the decision makers with insights in a number of plausible ‘what-if’ scenarios to improve the solution space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2007
Keyword
Product development, decision-making process, decision support, collaborative engineering
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11287 (URN)978-3-540-69819-7 (ISBN)
Conference
17th CIRP Design Conference - The Future of Product Development
Note

10.1007/978-3-540-69820-3_59

Available from: 2015-12-26 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2016-09-20Bibliographically approved
2. Gated maturity assessment - Supporting Gate Review Decisions with Knowledge Maturity Assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gated maturity assessment - Supporting Gate Review Decisions with Knowledge Maturity Assessment
2008 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In aeronautics industry today, companies collaborate closely in virtual enterprises to develop products and solutions that are more integrated and more complex, and that aims to target larger responsibilities regarding the product life-cycle. On top of this, lead-time and development costs needs to be reduced.<br/>The 7 Day Proposal (7DP) is the conceptual name of a framework wherein a customized proposal is produced by a virtual enterprise consortium within seven days from a received request for proposal. This is substantially shorter than what is current practice today and implies that new methods, tools and ways of working are needed. Today, in offer processes, time is lost because of insufficient, or immature, available information and knowledge at gate reviews when decisions are due, causing time consuming iterations. <br/>The Gated Maturity Assessment (GMA) concept is intended to help reduce these costly iterations by targeting the ambiguity at these gate reviews in order to reduce the uncertainty in decision base. <br/>Other frameworks using maturity include Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) and the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). TRL is an artefact-focused framework developed by NASA to assess space technology maturity. CMM is a process-focused framework for assessing organisations' software development process capability (maturity). <br/>The GMA is a concept for assessing the maturity of the knowledge that goes into a gate review (i.e. a decision document). The GMA is intended to support decision makers by assuring confidence in these decision points and thereby reducing the number of iterations, hereby reducing lead-time and increases the quality of the process.<br/>This paper reports on the development of the GMA concept from the 7DP use case, and also the development of a support tool intended for use in the 7DP process. <br/>Essentially, the 7DP process is a stage-gate process like many corporate product development processes with a number of decision gates. Therefore there is a future wish to move towards an engineering design context with this concept. <br/>The work is part of the 70 million € European project VIVACE where GMA is part of a Knowledge Enabled Engineering solution to the 7DP use case.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Enschede, The Netherlands: Laboratory of Design, Production and Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Univ. of Twente, 2008
Keyword
Maturity, Knowledge Enabled Engineering, Decision Support
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11271 (URN)
Conference
18th CIRP Design Conference 2008, Design Synthesis
Projects
VIVACEFaste Laboratory
Funder
VINNOVAEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2015-12-26 Created: 2015-12-18 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved
3. How are knowledge and information evaluated?: decision making in stage-gate processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How are knowledge and information evaluated?: decision making in stage-gate processes
2009 (English)In: Design has never been this cool : ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design ; 24 - 27 August 2009, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA ; proceedings volume / [ed] Margareta Norell Bergendahl, Martin Grimheden, Larry Leifer, Stanford, CA, USA, 2009, Vol. 17, 195-206 p., 342Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In stage-gate processes decisions are made based on the knowledge and information developed during the preceding phase. The purpose of this study is to explore the state-of-practice in industry regarding the assessment of knowledge and information at gates. The result indicates that gate reviews relate mainly to assessments of technical performance and function. Relatively little attention is given to assess the quality of the knowledge base, making it difficult to identify outdated, irrelevant and non-applicable information and knowledge. Further, tacit knowledge plays an important role in the decision-making process, as reviewers ask for the design rationale and further evidence of what has been done and why. However, evaluating such knowledge is currently a poorly understood aspect of gate reviews. It is concluded that even though the specific focus of such meetings is not on the evaluation of knowledge and information, the opportunity to work towards a better support of such activities is promising, especially since the respondents perceive the benefits that come from an increased attention to assessments of both the explicit and tacit knowledge base used in gate reviews.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stanford, CA, USA: , 2009
Keyword
Knowledge Management, Stage-Gate Process, Decision Support, Maturity
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-12104 (URN)978-1-904670-05-6 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Design
Projects
Faste Laboratory
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved
4. Managing Uncertainty and Ambiguity in Gates: Decision Making in Aerospace Product Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Uncertainty and Ambiguity in Gates: Decision Making in Aerospace Product Development
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), ISSN 0219-8770, Vol. 11, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates decision making in the stage-gate process used by an aerospace manufacturer. More specifically, it focuses on the way decision makers deal with uncertainties and ambiguities when making decisions. The stage-gate model was found to be a discussion trigger - a boundary negotiating artefact - through which stakeholders bring issues to the table, reflect on uncertainties, and decide in what areas more knowledge is needed. Managers should be aware that the knowledge base might not always be perfect and should make use of the sensemaking capabilities of the stage-gate model and the gate meeting to mitigate and improve the knowledge base. This paper elaborates on formalized knowledge-based criteria so as to support this evaluation of the knowledge base.

Abstract [sv]

Artikeln behandlar beslutsfattande och informationshantering i formella stage-gate-processer (fas-grind). Modellen och beslutsmötet fungerade som ett diskussionsunderlag för vilken man kan utveckla planer för hur man förbättrar beslutet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
World Scientific Publishing Company, 2014
Keyword
New product development, decision making, stage-gate, uncertainty, knowledge management, project management, sensemaking
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT Business Administration Applied Mechanics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6510 (URN)10.1142/S0219877014500126 (DOI)oai:bth.se:forskinfo97388CAB97F69EC8C1257DA1004D771A (Local ID)oai:bth.se:forskinfo97388CAB97F69EC8C1257DA1004D771A (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo97388CAB97F69EC8C1257DA1004D771A (OAI)
Available from: 2014-12-02 Created: 2014-12-01 Last updated: 2016-09-20Bibliographically approved
5. Knowledge maturity as a means to support decision making during product-service systems development projects in the aerospace sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge maturity as a means to support decision making during product-service systems development projects in the aerospace sector
2011 (English)In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 42, no 2, 32-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Streamlining new product development forces companies to make decisions on preliminary information. This paper considers this challenge within the context of project management in the aerospace sector, and in particular the development of product-service systems.  The concept of knowledge maturity is explored as a means to provide practical decision support, which increases decision makers' awareness of the knowledge base and supports cross-boundary discussions on the perceived maturity of available knowledge, thereby identifying and mitigating limitations. Requirements are elicited from previous research on knowledge maturity in the aerospace industry and a knowledge maturity model is developed through five industry-based workshops.

Keyword
knowledge management, new product development, stage-gate, aerospace, product-service system
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-12121 (URN)10.1002/pmj.20218 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved

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