The purpose of this paper is to propose a method for the identification of improvement opportunities in the knowledge transfer (KT) process between new product development (NPD) project teams. This method helps to prioritize which KT mechanisms of the company have to be improved and which other new mechanisms have to be implanted to reduce KT barriers and foster the KT process.
The proposed method follows a structure based on the QFD and FMEA quality tools approaches. Thus, a set of matrices for the KT barriers and mechanisms prioritization is used.
The presented results enabled the identification, inside the company, of the main points for the KT process improvement. The implementation of the suggestions was not started off until the conclusion of the present research. However, the problems identification and the generated discussions around these problems have already had an important repercussion in the project team. In this sense, the interviewees pointed out that the discussion helped to see existing problems that in the past were not considered as such.
This work has focused on NPD project teams. However, the addressed issues are highly common in any kind of projects. Therefore, this work might be a first step to a future extended research, in which KT between any types of project teams could be analyzed.
Results of this method could help to develop action plans to prevent or overcome possible existing barriers in the NPD project teams.
The paper provides a structured process for the identification of improvement opportunities in the NPD team context. The paper also provides a literature review of the main KT barriers and mechanisms; a set of matrices to help the analysis and prioritization of the information collected about a company's KT process, and an application of the proposal in a company manufacturing agricultural machinery.
Frank, A. and Echeveste, M. (2012), "Knowledge transfer between NPD project teams: A method for the identification of improvement opportunities", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 242-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656711211216126Download as .RIS
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