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Managing knowledge for capability engineering

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posted on 06.02.2014, 08:51 by Huseyin Dogan
The enterprises that deliver capability are trying to evolve into through-life businesses by shifting away from the traditional pattern of designing and manufacturing successive generations of products, towards a new paradigm centred on support, sustainability and the incremental enhancements of existing capabilities from technology insertions and changes to process. The provision of seamless through-life customer solutions depends heavily on management of information and knowledge between, and within the different parts of the supply chain enterprise. This research characterised and described Capability Engineering (CE) as applied in the defence enterprise and identified to BAE Systems important considerations for managing knowledge within that context. The terms Capability Engineering and Through Life Capability Management (TLCM), used synonymously in this thesis, denote a complex evolving domain that requires new approaches to better understand the different viewpoints, models and practices. The findings and novelty of this research is demonstrated through the following achievements:  Defined the problem space that Requirements Engineers can use in through-life management projects.  Made a contribution to the development of models for Systems Architects to enable them to incorporate ‘soft’ systems within their consideration.  Independently developed a TLCM activity model against which BAE Systems validated the BAE Systems TLCM activity model, which is now used by UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).  Developed, and published within INCOSE1, the INCOSE Capability Engineering ontology. Through the novel analysis of a directly applicable case study, highlighted to Functional Delivery Managers the significance of avoiding the decoupling of information and knowledge in the context of TLCM.  Through experimentation and knowledge gained within this research, identified inadequacies in the TechniCall (rapid access to experts) service which led to the generation of requirements for an improved service which is now being implemented by BAE Systems. The results showed that managing knowledge is distinct when compared to information management. Over-reliance on information management in the absence of tacit knowledge can lead to a loss in the value of the information, which can result in unintended consequences. Capability is realised through a combination of component systems and Capability Engineering is equivalent to a holistic perspective of Systems Engineering. A sector-independent Capability Engineering ontology is developed to enable semantic interoperability between different domains i.e. defence, rail and information technology. This helped to better understand the dependencies of contributing component systems within defence, and supported collaboration across different domains. Although the evaluation of the ontology through expert review has been accomplished; the ontology, KM analysis framework and soft systems transitioning approach developed still need to undergo independent verification and validation. This requires application to other case studies to check and exploit their suitability. This Engineering Doctorate research has been disseminated through a number of peer reviewed publications.


BAE Systems; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Huseyin Dogan

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A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Engineering Doctorate (EngD) degree, at Loughborough University.

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