Author: Wong, Wai Kiu
Title: A knowledge management system for managing the technology for the updating and changing of standards in the testing, inspection and certification industry
Advisors: Cheung, C. F. Benny (ISE)
Degree: Eng.D.
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Knowledge management
Department: Faculty of Engineering
Pages: 282 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The safety of products is very important for our daily life, as they may cause death and damage to our homes. In order to cope with the highly competitive global business environment, the business paradigm of the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry should be changed, especially for standards which are highly frequently changed and updated and the high recall rate of products produced in China and the TIC industry should enhance its internal technological capability as well as develop efficient models to prepare for the changing compliance environment, fulfilling customer demand for timely delivery of value-added services and notification services regarding standard updates in particular to its related projects. However, the TIC industry is inefficient in relating knowledge to deal with internal preparation of technology for catering for the high rate of standard updates, so should change its strategy to achieve a shorter technology development cycle time so as to provide more responsive services for customers. In order to cater for the rapid changing of standards and prepare well to develop the internal technological capability, a knowledge management system for standard updates (KMSSU) is established which incorporates a knowledge-based system (KBS) and an enhanced scenario-based roadmapping (ESBRM) method which attempts to support the TIC industry to manage knowledge and the decision-making process for technology deployment planning of new standards and standard updates can be facilitated. As a result, responsive strategies can be formulated with the intended use of systems to fulfill the demand for higher efficiency and higher quality in the TIC industry, as well as retention of knowledge, competence and technology to achieve sustainable competitive business. The ESBRM method is developed to cater for the launch of new standards, which is adopted from the scenario-based roadmapping system developed by CHENG and WONG (2016); it is incorporated into the scenario planning at the level of macro and roadmapping at the level of micro perspectives. The KBS was developed for catering for standard updates. It consists of two modules, which are knowledge repository and maintenance module. The knowledge repository is responsible for the acquisition of general information of new and updated standards to be processed, and provides a systematic approach to categorize the potential implication for the internal technology resources based on the characteristics of different standard updates. It is an important step to formulate solutions of actions to be undertaken by internal staff to prepare for the related resources for standard updates such as people, equipment, facilities, technology, etc. It also provides a systematic approach to categorize the potential impact on customers to deal with standard updates, which is a very important step to fulfil customer expectations by providing notification of changes of the standards to customers. This system is integrated with both Rule-based Reasoning (RBR) and Case-based Reasoning (CBR), and the standard update data input module is used to provide a man-machine interface which acquires the input from the users to set up the RBR regarding the main operation of the planning of internal capability assessment. The knowledge repository is used for analyzing the user input based on the CBR algorithm and hence inferences are made, such that recommendations can be provided for the users. The CBR algorithm enables the KBS to learn through interaction with users. By using the KBS, the accuracy and precision of classification of standard updates can be enhanced. This means that the knowledge of the standard update process can be acquired, retrieved, reused, revised and retained by the KBS.
The KMSSU was also established by applying three modules to facilitate the launch of new standards and standard updates. The first level is the data acquisition module, which aims to collect information from new or updated standards, and the existing resources are based on the ISO17025 requirement and project list including customer information. The second level is a standard update system module, which is composed of an enhanced scenario-based roadmapping method (ESBRM) and a knowledge-based system (KBS). The KSB is established based on a rule-based system (RBS) and case-based system (CBS), which input previous cases and expert rules, combined with the result of the Knowledge audit, which can provide information about the organization's tangible and intangible assets, so that the organization can create value when they are applied in line with a standard change, and the requirements of standard updates by associations or the government. Hence, the ESBRM forecasts the future of a specific business area and generates a development plan for specific technology solutions to satisfy the requirements in the future. The third level is a standard update strategy formulation module, which generates the roadmap for resource planning to the laboratory in terms of the six elements, and customer notification so as to provide information to customers about the related projects for preparation in advance. Laube and Abele (2005) pointed out three major uses of a technology roadmap: first, it supports to identify the needs and required the technologies on satisfactory the needs. Then it forecasts technology development by setting a mechanism and a framework, which help in the planning and coordination of technology development. In the TIC industry, it supports a good preparation based on the date of withdrawal (DOW) of standards and regulations. The feasibility of the proposed KMSSU system is validated by a trial implementation of the system in one of the top five TIC companies in Hong Kong. A system performance evaluation form was collected to analyze the effectiveness of the KBS and ESBRM. The overall performance result shows that positive feedback was obtained regarding the monitoring function and user interface, which demonstrates the further feasibility of the proposed KBS and ESBRM systems in actual environments. In order to address the challenge of the TIC industry of inefficiency in relating knowledge to deal with internal preparation of technology for catering for the high demand of standard updates, it needs to change its strategy to achieve a shorter technology development cycle time so as to provide a more responsive service for customers. The contribution of this work is the development of the KMSSU to achieve the objective of improving technology deployment planning for standard updates. With the use of the designed KMSSU, five significant outcomes of the study are expected to be provided by the KMSSU. The first outcome is to fill the knowledge gap while facilitating flexible expert judgment, the second is to facilitate decision-making in standard update planning to eliminate the risk of missing internal preparation tasks for standard updates, the third outcome is to facilitate strategic decisions in technology planning to mitigate the risk of missing critical technology deployment actions for standard updates. The fourth outcome is to reduce the manual workload and process errors in combating copious changes in standard requirements, hence reducing the processing time while the fifth outcome is to increase customer loyalty by providing customized standard update information. As a result, responsive strategies can be formulated with the intended use of the systems to fulfil the demand of higher efficiency and higher quality in the TIC industry, as well as retention of knowledge, competence and technology to achieve sustainable competitive business.
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