Resilience in Product Design and Development Processes: A Risk Management Viewpoint
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionProcedia CIRP. 2019, 84 1-1120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2019.04.248
Product development (PD) faces uncertainties caused by rapidly developing technologies, shifting market demands and the changes occasioned by these developments, including new requirements for products being developed and increased difficulty for companies to reliably execute state-of-the-art processes. In this paper, we argue that classic PD risk management methods and tools are based on the ‘predict and plan’ paradigm, which assumes that organisation members involved in PD have sufficient time and resources to identify, analyse and mitigating technology risks and organisational risks. However, the reality of product development is that time and resources are rarely sufficient, and uncertainty is currently being introduced to the development process at an accelerated rate by trends such as pervasive digitalisation. This paper therefore investigates a resilience-inspired approach to PD risk management that abandons the predict and plan paradigm in favour of a ‘monitor and adapt’ approach. We argue that, in industrial practice, predict and plan approach is the de facto risk management baseline, and suggest deliberately tailoring risk management and PD processes to incorporate resilience-based practices. To that end, we provide suggestions for process frameworks and tools organisations may adopt and discuss how resilience and risk management are complementary approaches to traditional PD. Our arguments are supported by a case study of an engineering organisation and additional interviews conducted with members of similar organisations for purposes of validation.