Product: Management and Development
Product: Management and Development
Original Research

Architectural approach for analysing and managing innovation in complex system design projects

Matthew C. Cook, John P. T. Mo

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Deep changes are taking place in business, brought about by increasing design innovations for enabling organisations to stay competitive in the era of Industry 4.0. Strategic methods for developing and managing innovation need to address multiple sources of technology advancement across a diverse range of disciplines. Organisations must have the flexibility to embrace new partnerships and form alliances that bring benefit to technology advancement, control the inherent risk introduced by development and ensure the agility to compete. Without strategically addressing these factors, organisations have struggled to overcome the inherit risks that innovations and introducing new technology and/or processes can carry. Consequently, organisations take a conservative approach, only committing to very small incremental change or attempting to offload risk to partners. As a result many innovations are stifled and fail to achieve their full success potential. This paper proposes that a systematic architectural approach is required to holistically manage and control innovation both within an organisation and an alliance environment to achieve success. The foundation of this architecture is the cyclic application of a system model known as 3PE, that ameliorates the identification of risks in innovations and an algorithmic process that crucially defines the priority of mitigation throughout the life cycle. The evaluation/assessment of innovation(s) concurrently, provides the flexibility to constantly manage residual and emergent risks. Furthermore, by understanding the correlation/interactions among the risks, both within an organisation environment and across alliance partners, promotes smart quantitative prognosis of potential risk impact and mitigation strategies across the project life cycle, which can be developed to minimise risks dynamically.


risk, innovation, alliance, management, systematic, design process.


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