Need Finding for the Development of a Conceptional, Engineering-Driven Framework for Improved Product Documentation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProcedia Computer Science. 2013, 16, 423-432. 10.1016/j.procs.2013.01.044
Engineering companies that develop advanced products in multi-disciplinary new product development (NPD) teams, have difficulties in managing, communicating, and (re)using knowledge in and between NPD projects. Information is lost due to team dynamics, inappropriate documentation and methods, resulting in unnecessary design iterations, repeated problem-solving, lack of effectiveness and value, and low financial performance. It is, therefore, desirable to develop a documentation model that can be integrated into different engineering processes and used to effectively communicate product information within a single project and between projects, combining strategies from product design methodology, model-based systems engineering, and lean development. It is necessary to combine the most recent product (systems) engineering methods with the understanding of problems and needs in industrial environments where they shall be applied. This paper presents results of need finding in four companies using a semi-structured interview approach to gain insight into problems associated with product documentation. The findings are turned into a conceptual engineering-driven product documentation framework, which links documentation to the product architecture using knowledge-brief (A3) type documentation strategies from lean execution environments.