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Photo: Lars Andersson
Johan Holmqvist, PhD at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Lars Andersson

New concept for the dissemination of experiences

Published: 9 April 2015

A lack of experience scattering has long been a problem in product development - but thanks to new research at the University the communication difficulties may soon be solved. It is with the help of a unique conversation concept consisting of 36 questions.

- Through my model of targeted conversations, or conversations with clear sender and receiver, I hope the insights and experiences of ordinary engineering work better can be taken advantage of and become the competitive advantage that knowledge assets after all is said Johan Holmqvist, PhD at Luleå University of Technology .

Reinventing the wheel over and over again

It is in the thesis Conversation in Engineering Teams - Turning experiences into actions that Johan Holmqvist investigated how the spreading of experience in product development organizations can be supported. There, he notes that there are challenges with existing support forums and project portals.

- Today we can not capture all the reflections and experiences in a good way, which means we will have to reinvent the wheel over and over again, says Johan Holmqvist.
To remedy this, he developed a new concept of 36 questions designed specifically for experience sharing.

- The questions relate to three different roles (engineering, expertise and management) and are structured in the same way but the questions are different depending on which roles are in focus. All conversations have four parts: first a descriptive statement, followed by a line of argument that corresponds to a "how" question. Next, it is important to reflect on the situation and make an interpretation, and finally a draft recommendation or improvement, says Johan Holmqvist who believes that his model overcomes the experience of dissemination inherent obstacles.

Distinct roles

- The difficulties arise when you do not know who might read a report and that in itself contains perspective and a context that can not be understood without understanding. So by being clear about the roles that try to create shared experiences and support this through targeted conversations, we can better capture otherwise lost insights.


Johan Lugnet

Lugnet, Johan - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Information systems, Digital Services and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491201