The 21st century brings many new challenges to the product development (PD) community mainly due to a drastic increase in the scale and complexity of engineered systems. This requires the collaboration of various entities and resources within and outside firm boundaries. To address these new challenges, this paper proposes a novel framework for an enterprise-wide PD information management system. The proposed framework provides an integrative view of the various dependencies and information flows that co-exist in three main PD analysis domains (i.e., people, products, and processes) and analysis methods for the discovery of gaps or ‘misalignment’ between them. These gaps could help explain why some organizations are able to provide more competitive products within a given industry. Moreover, the framework suggests that the characteristics of how an organization acquire data, interpret information, and apply knowledge will impact the final architecture of the product. Finally, we demonstrate this framework by analyzing an open source software (OSS) project, which offers some insights and new directions into how the transfer of data, information, and knowledge impacts the final (source code) architecture and design.

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