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Proceedings of PICMET '15: Management of the Technology Age

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Technological Change, Decision making, Technology -- Management


In technology-driven enterprises, marketing typically acts as a “go-between” that captures customer needs and experiences and aggregates and interprets them for engineering. Knowledge exchange thus occurs through an indirect path. However, as a result of rapidly changing and unpredictable environments and complex products with tacit requirements, companies increasingly emphasize the need for engineering to be more strongly engaged with customers'. Accordingly, an increasing number of methods for customer research in early stages on new product development, the so-called fuzzy front end (FFE), emphasize direct knowledge exchange and collaboration between engineering and customers. Based on a review of the literature, this paper establishes six requirements for such methods from the perspective of engineering: information processing, simulation of scenario, reflection of dynamic customer knowledge change, interactive communication, exchange of subjective interpretation and drawing organizational interpretation. Subsequently ten tools which are typically applied for customer involvement activities and capturing customer knowledge in the FFE are evaluated according to the requirements. As a result, simulation of scenario is hardly dealt with by any methodologies. In addition, some methodologies require additional help or education for engineers and have difficulties with being diffused throughout general fields from specific industries.


Copyright © 2015 by PICMET.

Paper delivered at Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), 2015.



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