A knowledge management methodology for a product development environment
The subject of this Engineering Doctorate research is Knowledge Management (KM) which is a philosophy for improving core business activities of a organisation based upon the examination and development of its knowledge-base. A company knowledgebase is made up of information that is generated from critical activities, e.g. product development, marketing, sales, etc. and by the employees, customers and partners that representthecreative,problem-solvingcapabilitiesofaorganisation. This research provides the automotive industry with a practical methodology that translates the conceptual ideas of Knowledge Management (KM) into a working programme with defined objectives, using industry terminology. The research also developed a supporting analysis methodology that enables a effective examination of the root causes of K behaviour, which spans technical and cultural boundaries. This happens through identifying the factors that impact upon defined KM metrics. These factors can have many definitions, e.g. a software system. The analysis identifies the key influencing factors within a working environment. The research benets are felt when the ground-level drivers of KM behaviour are improved through a link to a appropriate K strategy. The K strategy may emphasise organisational cultural changes or IT changes or both in a endeavour to improveinnovation,reducebusinesscostsandreducetimetomarketofnewproducts. A validation case study was undertaken within the design centre of a leading automotive manufacturer. This exercise implemented the pilot programme and the company working environment was successfully analysed. A series of recommendations were made that would improve Knowledge Management for the company. Finally, a series of further research issues were developed that provide a wider perspective for the contribution of the thesis so that greater be net scan beat tributed to its implementation.