Title: Towards an alternative foundation for managing product life-cycles in turbulent environments

Authors: Lars Taxen, Daniel Svensson

Addresses: Department of Science and Technology, Campus Norrkoping, Linkoping University, Rundan 91, Tullinge SE 14645, Sweden. ' Volvo Information Technology, Industrial Solutions, Goteborg SE 405 08, Sweden

Abstract: With the deregulation of the markets and the introduction of new technologies, the need to manage diversification, change and complexity in product development has become crucial. To cope with this situation, an alternative foundation for PLM is needed in which social issues are considered alongside with more traditional, technical ones. Such a major re-orientation of PLM needs to be informed by a theoretical perspective, which integrates social and technical issues into a coherent sociotechnical framework. To this end, we propose the Activity Domain Theory. This theory has been used as a guide at the Ericsson telecommunication company in order to suggest an alternative foundation for PLM. Preliminary results are the enhancement of the organisational language with the construct of activity domains, a clean-up of fundamental categories in information management, a multi-domain product structure concept, an alternative business process model, an information system managing core information elements and a strategy towards balancing centralised and decentralised control.

Keywords: PLM foundation; Activity Domain Theory; sociotechnical perspective; industrial application; product lifecycle management; PLM; Ericsson; telecommunications; information management; business process models; product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2005.006667

International Journal of Product Development, 2005 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.24 - 46

Published online: 01 Apr 2005 *

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