A general model of the product development process correlated with the architecture of a semantic software support system
The product development process (PDP) in innovative companies is becoming more and more complex, encompassing many very diverse activities, and involving a fairly big number of actors, spread across different professions, teams and organizations. One of the major problems is that the actors and groups of actors usually perform their tasks without a structured interaction with the others, focusing on their local goals, even though the product knowledge is the same. This makes apparent the need for a centralized knowledge management software system which would improve collaboration. In order to make such a system as universal and flexible as possible, the first challenge is to identify and formally describe PDP activities in a standard and general way, creating a common PDP model applicable to companies from different industries. This paper shows how the common PDP model was created, based on the PDPs described for companies from three distinct industry branches (home appliance, automotive and aerospace), and how this model is correlated to a proposed architecture of the distributed semantic knowledge management support system.