Design and application of a new workshop concept on the development of an innovative transport unit - a new way of knowledge sharing

Sebastian Jursch, Eckart Hauck, Richard Ramakers, Sabina Jeschke, Klaus Henning


For a product-oriented project, the product development in particular the design and decision phase is of a high relevance. In this phase and based on the identified requirements, ideas and solutions are summarized, evaluated and filtered. In the interdisciplinary research project “TelliBox” (within the 7th work program of the European Union) an innovative container for the intermodal transport has been developed.

Within the consortium the diversity of ideas and images to realize such a container was huge and common approaches, particularly for the filtering and combination of the best possible solutions, seemed not very promising, since they were not able to integrate all participants into the process. Thus, the procedure of solution-finding and filtering turned out to be rather inefficient and uneconomical. Therefore a new workshop concept was developed that allowed to summarize, evaluate and filter solution proposals. The concept was used for a heterogeneous project consortium, with divergent desires and requirements, during the solution development. The workshop’s aim was to consolidate the individual images and ideas of the 25 participants (researchers, developers, operators, freight forwarders, etc) and to define of about three to five plausible solutions. These had to fulfill all technical requirements and needed to be accepted by all stakeholders before they were worked out in detail and finally decided on.

The workshop concept was split in five communication levels (´Dialog", "Inner Dialog", "Exchange within Groups", "Exchange between Groups" and "Exchange within the Consortium") where different processes were located. These processes involved several methods like speed dating, morphological analysis, poster session etc. accompanied by methodical working phases like individual work, group work or even work in the whole consortium.

This new approach to the creation of ideas and the sharing of knowledge showed that solution finding processes can be shortened and that the integration of all relevant participants lead to an innovative and feasible solution. Thus, the product development was accepted by all parties and was successfully accomplished without any compromises concerning the requirements. The fact that all project partners were able to present their own ideas and discuss them without any prejudices promoted the approval and acceptance of the decisions made. Through their involvement the partners were also much more interested in the next steps of the project.



knowledge sharing, Workshop, Product development, Transport.

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