Kai Stapel, Eric Knauss, Christian Allmann:
»Lightweight Process Documentation: Just Enough Structure in Automotive Pre-Development«

Pre-development in the automotive sector is informally organized to support the engineers trying out new ideas and generally being creative. If feasibility studies reveal e.g. system?s uncertainties or bad market opportunities and the development has to be discarded, all documentation attached is obsolete. As a result it is neither possible nor desirable to establish a document centric process in automotive pre-development. However, without a defined development procedure it is hard to improve and validate development outcomes, respectively to repeat success strategies as well as to integrate new personnel. Furthermore, if new innovations do pass to series development, system characteristics and development activities certainly have to be documented. In this contradictory situation we cannot apply traditional document centric process approaches. Instead we make use of our Information Flow Analysis. This way it is possible to document and analyze the pre-development activities. Based on our conclusions we developed lightweight concepts to systematically capture documentation from the engineers, without hindering their creativity. These concepts were incorporated in a semantic Wiki, in an effort to give a suitable starting point for comprehensive documentation in case of pre-development projects going into production.