Knowledge reuse in industrial practice: evaluation from implementing engineering checksheets in industry
Journal article, 2019
In multi-domain product development organizations, there is a continuous need to transfer captured knowledge between engineers to enable better design decisions in the future. The objective of this paper is to evaluate how engineering knowledge can be captured, disseminated and (re)used by applying a knowledge reuse tool entitled Engineering Checksheet (ECS). The tool was introduced in 2012 and this evaluation has been performed over the 2017-2018 period. This case study focused on codified knowledge in incremental product development with a high reuse potential both in and over time. The evaluation draws conclusions from the perspectives of the knowledge workers (the engineers), knowledge owners and knowledge managers. The study concludes that the ECS has been found to be valuable in enabling a timely understanding of technological concepts related to low level engineering tasks in the product development process. Hence, this enables knowledge flow and, in particular, reuse among inexperienced engineers, as well as providing quick and accurate quality control for experienced engineers. The findings regarding knowledge ownership and management relate to the need for clearly defining a knowledge owner structure in which communities of practice take responsibility for empowering engineers to use ECS and as knowledge evolves managing updates to the ECS.