To achieve the project challenge we have set three aims, which are to:
- Develop tools and techniques, and associated theoretical foundations, for the sustainable representation of the engineered product, the process by which it has been designed and the rationale behind design decisions, and for the organisation of the resulting information set. This aim delivers the knowledge representations and toolsets for that purpose (Work Package 1).
- Study how the understanding of products or particular sub-systems, and their impact on users, develops throughout product life, and hence develop strategies and techniques for the active 'curation' (DCC, 2004) of the knowledge and information associated with this understanding. This aim delivers the organisational learning processes supporting aim 1 (Work Package 2 ).
- Investigate the dynamics of knowledge collection and use throughout the life cycle of complex product-service systems, and to make recommendations for improved effectiveness, particularly in the areas of organisation and governance of the companies in the product-service supply chain, supporting human resource management (HRM) policies and decision-support throughout the product life cycle. This aim delivers the environment in which the results of aims 1 and 2 can be made operational and effective (Work Package 3 ).
Each of these aims is addressed by a distinct Work Package (WP 1 to 3 respectively). A further work package (WP 4) will ensure the intellectual integration of the research. The overall deliverables of the programme will be a theoretical foundation and framework for knowledge management in product-service systems, recommendations for company and supply chain organisation and management, and tools and experimental systems for information and knowledge capture and organisation.