Obsolescence management in agile product development: A case study
La, Son (2021-06-18)
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While typically being referred to as the last phase of product’s lifecycle, obsolescence is determined by many factors since the day one. There, decision makers have different options to prevent and handle the unexpected and costly damage of obsolescence issues. The thesis aims to review the current state of obsolescence management and find out a systematic way to evaluate an agile organization’s capability on the topic by answering four research questions around the matter. First, in order to understand what the cause of obsolescence issue, the thesis reviews different drivers for the obsolescence issue in the industrial domain to understand its nature. At the same time, the two drivers “Shorter time-to-market” and “Servitization” as emerging trends for traditional manufacturing companies are assessed in depth for their impacts. “Shorter time-to-market” creates numerous active variants on the field and potentially drives up the obsolescence cost for both manufacturers and their customers. Meanwhile, “servitization”, though enables new value streams to manufacturers, but also brings with it the risk of cost penalties when lack of required competences. The third research question aims to provide a summary of avail-able approaches, mitigation and resolutions for decision makers when dealing with the problem. Literatures are reviewed for a broad range of practical options. One systematic approach to the problem is by adopting the international standard EN IEC 62402:2019 obsolescence management, which contributes to the answer of the last research question in this thesis. The standard provides requirements and guidance, on which a gap analysis was developed and conducted as a case study using qualitative research methodology such as unstructured interviews and internal document reviews. In result, different improvement points are identified for the case study organization to better serve the customers in the future. Future researches can be done to improve the obsolescence management capability assessment method and come up with a prioritization technique to address the issue among other type of work inside an organization, where resource is always limited.