Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Communication among Engineers

Are Your Engineers Talking to One Another When They Should?
By: Sosa, Manuel E., Eppinger, Steven D., Rowles, Craig M.,
Harvard Business Review,
Nov 2007, Vol. 85, Issue 11

A new application of an established project management tool, the design structure matrix, can help a company identify where failures in planned communications could occur as well as recognize when project teams engage in useful technical communications that were not planned.

• If a company finds that a lot of planned communication is not taking place, then it should revisit its product development organization. Even projects that are completely organized around a product's architecture are typically vulnerable to communication breakdowns.

Manuel E. Sosa is an assistant professor of technology and operations management at Insead in Fontainebleau, France. Steven D. Eppinger is a professor of management science and engineering systems and deputy dean at MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Craig M. Rowles was a Module Center manager at Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Connecticut; he is now CEO of Emegear, a medical device company in Carpinteria, California.

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