Supporting distributed design teams with regard to processes, methods & tools and competencies & qualifications
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Bavendiek, Ann-Kathrin; Paulsen, Hilko; Vietor, Thomas; Kauffeld, Simone
Institution: Technische Universität Braunschweig
Due to globalization, increasing concurrence, time pressure, as well as the complexity of today’s products, enterprises develop and produce products more internationally. This results in the collaboration of persons from different locations and often from different disciplines like mechanics, electronics and software. Besides the diverse disciplines, diverse cultures may be involved in international collaborations. Enabled by the increasing digitalization, this leads to potentials like the collaboration of experts from all over the world or the proximity to customers at local markets. However, the collaborators have to face additional challenges of teamwork compared to traditional face-to-face teams. Some of the challenges are coping with a virtual working environment, lacking informal communication due to distribution and higher demands for flexibility. Hence, additional competencies are required to deal with these challenges. As there are many approaches to describe or support collaborative design on different layers, this paper organizes previous research into the three layers 1)process, 2)methods & tools and3)competencies & qualification. The consideration of existing support tools and approaches helps to identify current gaps in the wide field of collaborations. Additionally, an exemplary situation in a digital working scenario of an enterprise is used to identify further needs. Based on these findings, this contribution presents the concept for a tool, called KAMiiSo tool, supporting collaborative engineering design teams on the three defined layers. This tool focusses on the provision of assisting methods (e.g. brainwriting, FMEA, etc.) in combination with tools (e.g. e-mail, video-conferencing, etc.) that are bound to previously defined processes within a process generator. The third layer is considered among the boundary conditions of the methods and tools described via team-oriented attributes. Additionally, a reflection tool is part of the superordinateKAMiiSo tool that helps reflecting actions within the collaborative design situations. The concept was presented to experts from the enterprise used to define the digital working scenario and from other enterprises to gain feedback. A conclusion will summarize the findings and present future work.