Requirement driven knowledge management system design to support automotive product development

by Pengcheng Zhang

Institution: University of Greenwich
Department: School of Engineering
Year: 2011
Keywords: T Technology (General); TS Manufactures
Record ID: 1395368
Full text PDF: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/7661/


Nowadays, New Product Development (NPD) has become a business priority in manufacturing companies due to international competition in terms of meeting higher and changing customer requirements, generating high profit at low cost, and maintaining sustainable development and growth. Through literature review and industrial investigations, it has been recognised that NPD is an information and knowledge intensive process. However, in current practice, enterprise knowledge is not properly managed or easily accessible. Many service providers have not followed the good practice of considering business objectives and end users’ requirements as main drivers of knowledge management system development and implementation. This doctoral thesis presents a methodology for the design and development of Knowledge Management (KM) systems to support NPD based on Enterprise Architecture Frameworks (EAFs). The project focuses on IT system specifications generation driven by business and knowledge users’ requirements in the automotive industry. Current EAFs have been developed by researchers and practitioners to help enterprises to design their information systems based on business objectives and user requirements. However, these frameworks are mainly proposed to manage information and data such as finances, resources, management and engineering documents, not for the increasingly important enterprise knowledge, especially tacit and unstructured knowledge. This project aims to extend the capabilities of the latest enterprise architecture frameworks so that not only data and information, but also enterprise knowledge can be managed. A guideline in the form of a flowchart has been developed, which provides a process that can be followed and used by system developers and implementation. The extended EAF has been implemented as easy-to-use folders for the development of a structured knowledge base. A case study in an automotive company proved that the methodology can be used to produce the functional specifications of their IT systems to include knowledge management capability. The system specification can then be used, either to assess a company’s existing information systems and direct its future system development and implementation; or to develop/implement a complete new information system from scratch.