The architecture improvement method (AIM) is a method for multidisciplinary product architecture improvement, addressing uncertainty and complexity and incorporating feedback loops, facilitating trade-off decision making during the architecture creation process. The research reported in this paper demonstrates the ability of the AIM to contribute to cost management and systemic learning in the creation of strategic product architectures, throughout the entire product life cycle. Application of the method in five case studies within two divisions of Royal Philips Electronics shows that in cases of medium uncertainty, substantial cost management benefits can be achieved and that the AIM facilitates systemic learning through the accumulation of architectural competence, thus facilitating organizational memory.
de Weerd-Nederhof, P. C., Wouters, M., Teuns, S. J. A., & Hissel, P. H. (2007). The Architecture Improvement Method: cost management and systematic learning about strategic product architectures. R & D management, 37(5), 425-439. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2007.00490.x