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Identification, translation and realisation of requirements for a knowledge management system in an engineering design consultancy

Macintyre, Fraser Robert and Thomson, Avril and Wodehouse, Andrew (2011) Identification, translation and realisation of requirements for a knowledge management system in an engineering design consultancy. In: 18th International Conference on Engineering Design, 2011-08-01.

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This paper provides an overview of the development of a Knowledge Management system for an engineering design consultancy. It sets out a methodology from the initial importance of identifying requirements based on the particular organizational context through to training and roll out. This paper explores the issues associated with the early stages of knowledge management intervention, exploring the methodology utilized from the study of existing practice through to software development. Techniques employed as part of this methodology include the study of existing practice, user requirements mapping, and business and software specification development. The translation of these requirements and specifications into system features are illustrated by focusing on three key themes identified during the project: a reluctance to contact other regional offices, the time burden of finding existing design knowledge and capturing new design knowledge, and robust validation procedures. It is anticipated the techniques utilized and insights gained will be directly applicable to other organizations, particularly those in the engineering design sector, seeking to implement a knowledge management system.