The General Motors Variation-Reduction Adviser: A Deployed System for Experience Management

Authors
Morgan, Alexander
Cafeo, John
Godden, Kurt
Lesperance, Ronald
Simon, Andrea
McGuinness, Deborah L.
Benedict, James
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Issue Date
2007-01-01
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Abstract
The General Motors Variation-Reduction Adviser (VRA) is an experience-management system currently in use in most GM assembly centers. Its purpose is to capture and communicate problem-solving events from various quality-control activities. The most important prerequisite to the success of the VRA project was having a community that was already sharing problem-solving experiences, mostly via written logs (within in plants) and weekly telephone conferences (between plants). The key insight for success of the VRA was to realize that nobody is motivated to "author cases" for future use, but everybody is motivated to communicate with peers during an investigative activity. The case-capture mechanism for the VRA evolved from its original concept (authoring structured cases) to the final design that focuses on recording communications during the problem-solving process. The resulting "textual case-based reasoning" (TCBR) system leverages smart search (ontology-guided search) to counterbalance the loss of structure in the case descriptions. A formal return-on-investment business analysis was created to justify the project, but the most convincing justification has been its current widespread daily use.
Description
pages 27 - 29
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KI Journal
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