Characteristics and Enablers of Transparency in Product Development Organizations
Author(s)Shaffer, Ryan M.; Olechowski, Alison Louise; Seering, Warren; Ben-Daya, Mohammad
Risks in product development lead to schedule and cost overruns and poor product quality. While many risk management frameworks have been published and research on specific practices has been conducted, little is understood of key characteristics of successful risk management in product development and how they manifest in real development projects. This research consists of two phases. The first phase is a survey on 171 best practices in risk management. Analysis of over 200 responses from industry practitioners identified transparency as a key characteristic of successful risk management in product development. Due to the limited exploration of the concept of transparency in the literature, the second phase of this work consisted of a qualitative investigation of transparency through interviews with 15 industry practitioners. Analysis of the interview results suggests a hierarchical structure which decomposes transparency into several characteristics and identifies enablers for each of these characteristics. We propose that transparency can be a valuable lever for product developers and managers. Future work is needed to validate the generalizability of the observations provided.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2015-06