Customer requirements provide objectives and constraints for all phases of the product development process. For complex system products with a high degree of customization, it is no mean task to ensure that the right persons at the right time have ready access to the selected requirement specifications that they should adhere to and strive to satisfy. In the present work a systematic sequence of development phases associated with computer implemented information structures for requirements, functions and systems have been studied at three companies with widely different products and business scenarios. Although individual adaptations are required, the overall processes for requirement decomposition and propagation appear surprisingly similar. To fully exploit the potential of such information systems, many companies would benefit from also including knowledge structures in their product models. Fundamental product and process knowledge often evolves slowly over time, can be gradually upgraded and be reused many times. It also constitutes one of the company’s most valuable assets and should be carefully maintained and enhanced. In the work presented here a few different approaches to integrating knowledge structures into the total product information structure have been developed and exemplified for the three companies studied.

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