Coordinating dispersed product development processes: A contingency perspective of project design and modelling

Kin Man To, Hon Kwok Fung, Raymond J. Harwood, K. C. Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Managing worldwide supply pipeline operations concerns coordination and control of every step of the chain process starting from raw material sourcing, production, finally to distribution of market-specific items in retail places, all the way from product value inception and engineering, through manufacturing design, to the worldwide logistic planning. From systems perspectives, their relationships and interactions determine the overall performance. Coordinating such systems is very human-inclusive, characterised by abstract, ill-structured information interchange among well-partitioned expert groups. In this paper we documented the experience and implications of managing and modelling product development activities from a contingent perspective of interdependence. In our investigations amongst six international fashion corporations, crucial activity tasks in different countries were analyzed and evaluated within the context of launching schedule-driven fashion products. At the outset, we present the problem context, the issues arising from coordinating product development systems, and the approach we use to deal with the issues, i.e. modelling and manipulating the process interaction. We put forth a dependency-based process performance simulation, the related approach of data capture and the attribute constructs to represent the interactivity relationship. Finally, we discuss the computation process and evaluation strategy, which is indeed inspired by today's simulation-based optimization concepts. An effective GA heuristics is duly implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-584
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2009


  • Interdependency
  • Process design
  • Product development
  • Project organizations
  • Simulation-based optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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