Modular product architecture and organizational structure for continuous innovation
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Many companies have adopted a product modularization strategy to deal with the increasing need for more frequent updates and customization of products and services. To realize the benefits there is a ned for developing a modular product and service architecture. But, decisions regarding architecture design require an organizational structure facilitating the inclusion of the holistic cross-functional insight. This paper we will present some findings from our on-going, and planned, research. The focus is on issues related to opportunities and challenges regarding alignment between product architecture and organizational structure in both the developing and the operational phases of a product life cycle. Empirical data has been collected from four different companies, all of them having many years of experience with product modularization. The findings indicate that the alignment between modular product architecture and organisational structure has major effect on the success with modular products in a long-term perspective. To support continuous innovation, the modular architecture needs to be managed, developed and maintained by a dedicated organisation to keep the focus on design for reuse.