26 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2004
Date Written: February 2004
Many large-scale endeavors, especially the ones that need to be performed on an occasional basis, are performed on a de novo basis. Whether one is designing a spacecraft or a dam, or launching a sales campaign, each endeavor tends to have a life of its own. Very little knowledge, if any, is transferred from one business or engineering design endeavor to a successive one. This paper describes an approach that involves the acquisition of raw information from the keystrokes entered by the user while performing the primary activity. Such information is distilled to produce knowledge for future use, without imposing additional burden on human users involved in the first endeavor or the succeeding endeavors. The paper also describes a complementary approach that significantly reduces the time and effort spent by human beings in articulating their requirements, and specifically, in terms of delineating the indifference points among a set of feasible alternatives. Both these approaches have been validated in a complex multi-organizational situation related to spacecrafts. The approaches can be applied, either singly or jointly, to a broad class of business and engineering scenarios. They incorporate the notion of automated knowledge acquisition, discovery, management, and dissemination. The proposed approach is discussed in the context of supporting work-teams that are distributed both on geographic and temporal basis, thereby creating a "24-hour Knowledge Factory" environment.
Keywords: Business Process Management; Knowledge Engineering; Multi-attribute Tradespace; Design Rationale; Utility Function.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Seshasai, Satwik and Gupta, Amar and Kumar, Ashwani, An Integrated and Collaborative Framework for Business Design: A Knowledge Engineering Approach (February 2004). MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4469-04; Eller College Working Paper No. 1013-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=509683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.509683