This paper investigates CSCW aspects of large-scale technical projects based on a case study of a specific Danish engineering company and uncovers s challenges to CSCW applications in this setting. The company is responsible for management and supervision of one of the worlds largest tunnel/bridge construction projects. Our primary aim is to determine requirements on CSCW as they unfold in this concrete setting as opposed to survey and laboratory investigations. The requirements provide feedback to product development both on specific functionality and as a long term vision for CSCW in such settings. The initial qualitative analysis identified a number of bottlenecks in daily work, where support for cooperation is needed. Examples of bottlenecks are: sharing materials, issuing tasks, and keeping track of task status. Grounded in the analysis, cooperative design workshops based on scenarios of future work situations were established to investigate the potential of different CSCW technologies in this setting. In the workshops, mock-ups and prototypes were used to support end-users in assessing CSCW technologies based on concrete, hands-on experiences. The workshops uncovered several challenges. First, support for sharing materials would require a huge body of diverse materials to be integrated, for example into a hypermedia network. Second, daily work tasks are event driven and plans change too rapidly for people to register them on a computer. Finally, tasks are closely coupled to materials being professed thus a coordination tool should integrate facilities for managing materials.
Proceedings of Acm Cscw’92 Conference on Computer-supported Cooperative Work, 1992, p. 338-345
Cooperative design; hypermedia; coordination; evaluation; case study
Main Research Area:
Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. CSCW’92, 1992