This article summarizes the reflections of a webinar that Taipuva held in April 2021 (which is available as a recording). Speakers and their presentation titles were:

  • Veli-Pekka Jaakkola, Software Engineering Manager, Sandvik: “Efficiency through information reuse in SW development – How to be agile and structured at the same time”
  • Dr. Ola Larses, Lead Consultant for Scania, Taipuva Consulting: “Concept for continuous development of modular products”
  • Khaled Sahli, Systems Engineer & System Architect, Consilium Marine & Safety AB: “Systems engineering and reuse with Polarion”

In webinar opening the scope for the information reuse was set by the figure below. Presentations extended the scope even to system modeling and physical product components.

Product development information to be reused

Why to reuse information then? The most important reasons are summarized in the figure below. The 80/20 % general rule was agreed by Veli-Pekka Jaakkola, while presenting Sandvik’s approach.

Why to reuse information in product development

In company presentations the most referred use case was similar to the one presented below. When going to details, there can be a number of variations of even this one use case! For various approaches is it beneficial, if digital tool(s) offer many reuse mechanisms, in order to get a match to the preferred methodology.

Specification reuse for product variansts

Even though reusing information may sound simple, we saw in the company examples that things can get really hairy! It seems that the devil is in the details. There are questions such as:

  • Which version of the master specs should be reused?
  • How to control, when to update the actual project specs, and to which version?
  • Can all projects use the same version of the master, or do they need to decide for themselves?
  • When updating: what happens to everything that has been derived based on the previous specs?
  • Are there traceability links and alerts that warn of change impacts?
  • What direction do the change impacts flow to? (Do I really have to care?)

These questions arose from the one, rather simple use case. Taipuva summarized main approaches with something something called as a “complexity ladder”, which is depicted below. It means that the higher one climbs on the ladder the more complex it becomes to come up with the right strategy and information model for getting reuse to work.

It does not necessarily mean that a higher level results in greater efficiency, but it is very likely to do so. However, all use cases do not imply going to the high levels. It all depends on the nature of the business – product structure, projects and what you want to achieve.

Complexity ladder of prod dev information reuse

It is important to match the “level” of reusability to the maturity and competence of an organization, too, in order to be succesful. It was quite evident by the company examples that the more complex the reuse cases become the more they demand from the digital tool capabilities.

The figure below lists the most compelling characteristics of Siemens Polarion, why many organizations have chosen it as the main tool to build and manage their R&D information with.

Why Siemens Polarion for information reuse 1

The webinar itself showed very detailed and conrete examples, how companies Scania, Sandvik and Consilium have built their information structure and processes that now allow them to enjoy the benefits of effective reuse. Access the full webinar recording and presentation material.

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If you have any questions or considerations about your information reuse needs, Taipuva offers you a free consultancy session. Leave your contact details and we will get in touch.

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