An implementation framework for knowledge-based engineering projects
- Authors: Mvudi, Yannick
- Date: 2013-05-27
- Subjects: Knowledge-based engineering , Product design - Data processing , CAD/CAM systems , Expert systems (Computer science)
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: http://ujcontent.uj.ac.za8080/10210/373562 , uj:7543 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8401
- Description: M.Ing. (Engineering Management) , The growing need for customized solutions and faster product delivery obliges the product development industry to develop new strategies that can enable the rapid and flexible design of products. Several design approaches have been developed to address this issue: one such is Knowledge-Based Engineering (KBE), which is a design technique that enables the automation of the design process. This approach consists of using computational intelligence to capture the design rules related to a product family in order to generate automatically customized designs adapted to particular customer requirements. Knowledge-Based Engineering is also used to facilitate the performance of design evaluation activities such as finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as part of multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO). The application of this approach led to impressive results mostly in the automotive and aeronautical industry. Owing to this method, some companies manage to reduce the duration of the design process by 90%. Despite the excellent results obtained through the use of Knowledge-Based Engineering, there are still very few companies that make use of this approach in their design process. The review of the relevant literature showed that the lack of a standard easy-to-use methodology of implementation is one of the major obstacles to the expansion of Knowledge-Based Engineering. The knowledge processing phase constitutes one of the main challenges of the KBE implementation process. This phase consists of extracting and documenting the knowledge embedded in the design team in order to convert it in a programming code. Available methodologies such as MOKA and KNOMAD do not seem to provide easy-to-use methods to represent the design knowledge in a form that makes it easy to be programmed. The lack of a preliminary stage that justifies the adequacy of KBE for a particular design process is also an important gap identified in the literature.This dissertation discusses a detailed method that addresses issues related to knowledge processing and suitability analysis in KBE implementation. The knowledge processing method suggested is based on the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) which is used widely in the system engineering approach and consists of a very logical classification of the design knowledge. The strength of this method lies in its ability to represent the design knowledge in a form that makes it understandable for both engineers and programmers. Appropriate representation of this sort shortens the duration of the knowledge processing and facilitates the knowledge programming phase. Regarding the rationale for choosing of KBE, a detailed suitability assessment method is proposed.
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A socio-technical view of the requirements engineering process
- Authors: Marnewick, Annlizé
- Date: 2013-12-09
- Subjects: Business requirements analysis , Engineering - Management , Business planning , Business analysts
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:7858 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8751
- Description: D.Ing. (Engineering Management) , The requirements discipline is at the heart of systems engineering, software engineering and business analysis. When a solution needs to be developed, built or bought that will be useful to the users and that will achieve the intended business goals, the problem needs to be understood before a possible solution can be developed. This process of understanding the problem that needs to be solved and what the solution should achieve is referred to as the requirements process. Requirements are the input to the solution development process. If the requirements are incorrect, the developed solution will not be useful. The purpose of this study was to discover the social behaviour of practitioners that causes the communication breakdowns during the requirements engineering process. Requirements emerge from the social interaction and communication between the requirements practitioner and the various stakeholders. The main problems with the requirements engineering process are communication and coordination breakdowns, as well as the lack of domain knowledge or understanding of the problem. These challenges are all related to the social interaction during the requirements engineering process that impacts the quality of requirements. Researchers have made significant progress in the development of methodologies. Tools and techniques are available for improving the quality of requirements. However, in practice, requirements are still produced with errors which then leads to unsuccessful solutions to problems. The requirements engineering process is executed within a social context. These social elements should be taken into consideration to improve quality. Based on the results collected from real-world practice as well as people’s behaviour in the real world, a complete understanding of the influence on the requirements process was derived. This understanding was used to identify the social elements required during the requirements engineering process. A socio-technical view is provided of the social and the technical activities that should be facilitated by the requirements engineering process. This framework integrates the required communicative activities with the traditional requirements activity. This socio-technical framework for the requirements engineering process was developed based on a survey. The aim of this framework is to overcome the social behaviour that causes communication breakdowns and impacts on the quality of the requirements. The research contributes to the existing requirements knowledge base. The socio-technical framework developed for the requirements process concerns the communication breakdowns continuously highlighted as a contributing factor to poor requirements, by providing the social activities required during the requirements process as guidance. Secondly, the knowledge acquired provides adequate data on requirements practice for future research. Specific focus areas for practitioners and managers on how to improve the requirements engineering process without the adoption of any new tools or methodologies are also included in the results. Additionally, practitioners’ behaviour was determined. By determining these interaction and relationship patterns, communication can be improved and made more effective.
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How business process engineering can contribute to a sustainable business environment
- Authors: Sephoti, Omphemetse
- Date: 2014-01-14
- Subjects: Business process engineering , Reengineering (Management) , Organizational effectiveness , Strategic planning
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: http://ujcontent.uj.ac.za8080/10210/368385 , uj:7892 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8783
- Description: M.Phil. (Engineering Management) , “Business Process Engineering has now become the most important trend in modern businesses. It is often dressed up as many other things, but in the end, how the business delivers value is dependent on the operational effectiveness of its processes” . It is important to understand the benefits that business process engineering will provide in allowing business to be effective through its processes. The benefit needs to be quite evident for a long period of time, while business displays the signs of sustainable growth. I conduct this research to see how the two concepts, which are business process engineering, align in ensuring that business carries on offering the relevant offering to the customer. The approach I used in this research was firstly through understanding what the literature on business process engineering and sustainability entail in order to establish alignment. I therefore formulated a research question based on the variables that were derived from the literature review. These variables are both from business process engineering and sustainability. I further on conducted surveys, interviews with the relevant subject matter experts as well as other business owners. What emanated from the research was that there is a close correlation between the two concepts. It was also learned from the survey and interviews that organisations are so much in favour of sustainable solutions, however the challenge is always on what tools to use, how to use the tools effectively as well as benefit measurement of process engineering interventions. The survey results and the interviews showed that even though organisations think of sustainable solutions, it still seems that there is always an opportunity to implement quick wins that in most cases do not align to the long term goal of creating a sustainable growth of business. This research is important, as it tries to indicate the importance of aligning business process engineering projects to the vision and strategy of the organisation. This approach will ensure that the time and cost invested in executing the strategic and business as usual projects will produce good returns in terms of company performance.
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