Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 18 Number 4 2002 pp. 37-58

Performance-Centered Design of Knowledge-Intensive Processes

Massey, Anne P, Montoya-Weiss, Mitzi M, and O'Driscoll, Tony M

ABSTRACT: We develop and illustrate a performance-centered design (PCD) methodology for structuring knowledge-intensive, ill-defined processes. PCD provides a holistic view of a performance environment by considering the complex interdependencies between the organizational context, business processes, and individual performers. The context for our theoretical exposition is the fuzzy front-end of the new product development (NPD) process. Despite the fact that front-end concept definition and selection is central to a firm's innovation capability, these activities are ill-structured and typically the most poorly managed in the entire innovation process. Through a case study, we illustrate the proposed PCD methodology as applied to the fuzzy front-end and additionally illustrate how electronic performance support technology can be utilized to support the fuzzy front-end process. Although specifically applied within the context of one firm, we contend that the PCD methodology is applicable to other knowledge-intensive and relatively unstructured processes.

Key words and phrases: electronic performance support, fuzzy front-end, new product development, performance-centered design, problem-solving theory, problem structure, systems theory