Mapping Social Networks To Improve Product Quality
When the phrase "Social network" comes to mind, people generally think about Facebook or Twitter. Volumes of academic studies have been written on this relatively new phenomenon. But engineers who design such complex products as automobiles and airplanes have been operating within their own social networks - or specific patterns of communication - for a long time. As with most patterns of communication, gaps are bound to occur. A recent study undertaken by operations expert Wallace Hopp and two colleagues describes such gaps in social networks as "Coordination deficits." And such deficits can be costly if not corrected.