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Predicting technical communication in product development organizations

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3 Author(s)
Morelli, M.D. ; Sch. of Manage., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Eppinger, S.D. ; Gulati, R.K.

This work explores prediction of technical communication patterns within product development organizations. Our methodology involves first predicting the patterns of communication and then measuring the actual communications to see if the anticipated linkages are realized. We applied this methodology to a commercial product development project in the electronics industry. In this case study we found that: 81% of all coordination type communication linkages were predicted in advance; occurrences of frequent communications were more accurately predicted than infrequent communications; and two-way communication exchange was most often observed, even where oneway information transfer was predicted. For the management of product development projects, these results imply that certain aspects of organizational design can be planned by anticipating the technical communication linkages required for project execution. Finally, a critical analysis of our methodology suggests improvements for future work

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 3 )