Title: Simulating information ambiguity during new product development: a forecasting model using system dynamics

Authors: Corrado Lo Storto, Giovanni D'Avino, Paolo Dondo, Vincenzo Zezza

Addresses: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Economico-Gestionale, Universita' di Napoli Federico II, Piazzale Tecchio 80, Napoli 80125, Italy. ' ACI Global SPA, Via S. Cannizzaro 83/A, Roma 00156, Italy. ' CRF – Centro Ricerche Fiat, Strada Torino 50, Orbassano (To) 10043, Italy. ' IPI – Istituto Promozione Industriale, V.le M. Pilsudski 124, Roma 00197, Italy

Abstract: This paper presents an approach useful to analyse the performance of the product development model adopted by an organisation. A dynamic information management perspective of the development process was assumed while the nature of the information and knowledge flows exchanged to coordinate tasks was the primary focus of this study. In particular, the effect of information and knowledge flows ambiguity was taken into account. Coordination between tasks was modelled by using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) tool. The dynamic behaviour of the Product Development Process (PDP) and the evolution of information and knowledge quality at the interface between tasks was foresighted through simulation. System dynamics was used as a modelling framework. This approach was implemented to analyse a specific subsystem – |the climatic system| – of a new car model recently developed by a large Italian car manufacturer. Data were collected by administrating a questionnaire to technical managers and engineers involved in the development process of the subsystem. Continuous interaction and feedback from them was useful to build the process model simulated in our study and to test scales to measure model variables developed for the purpose in the first part of the study and discuss the simulation outcome and possible organisational solutions to correct bad performance.

Keywords: new product development; NPD; design structure matrix; DSM; system dynamics; ambiguity; information flow; simulation; information ambiguity; forecasting modelling; information management; knowledge flows; Italy; automotive models; automobile industry; process modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMIC.2008.018190

International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, 2008 Vol.3 No.1, pp.97 - 110

Available online: 10 May 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article