Title: Review and outlook of work breakdown structure for complex product manufacturing

Authors: Nan Ren; John R. Drake; Yixin Li; April H. Reed

Addresses: Department of Information Management, School of Economics and Management, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, Zhenjiang, China ' Department of Management Information Systems, College of Business, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA ' Department of Business Administration, School of Management, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China ' Department of Management Information Systems, College of Business, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA

Abstract: One of the key problems in complex product manufacturing is the lack of support for multiple management-oriented perspectives in the design and implementation of work processes. If we do not comprehensively analyse and understand the characteristics of complex product manufacturing projects, we cannot make the decomposition results of a work breakdown structure (WBS) effectively guide the work processes. The purpose of this paper is to develop a research framework for understanding the development and usage of WBS in complex product manufacturing by synthesising theory from project and manufacturing operations management disciplines. This framework must identify how to effectively deliver the information from management requirements to the work process that supports the manufacturing process. To accomplish this purpose, we analyse research in project management and compare the results to characteristics of complex product manufacturing. From this analysis, we design a unique framework of WBS construction and usage in complex product manufacturing and suggest future research directions.

Keywords: complex products; product manufacturing; work breakdown structure; WBS; project management; operations management; work processes; process design; project management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMTM.2014.066698

International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.28 No.4/5/6, pp.200 - 216

Available online: 01 Jan 2015 *

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