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Integration of CSCW tools in new product development: the mechanism of participatory elucidation of needs and the catching module mechanism as learning vectors

Tomas Restrepo
Abstract : A good cooperation between geographically disseminated actors is a key factor in improving product development (NPD) performance. In the last years, NPD groupware has been introduced in industry. The literature shows that only a small percentage of these solutions succeed. This is due to the poor specification of collective needs and the lack of attention to the organizational and human factors of groupware integration. To improve the specification and introduction of groupware, we propose an approach based on two mechanisms: the mechanism of participatory elucidation of user requirements and the catching module mechanism. We suggest that our first mechanism allows the progressive elicitation of user needs (in terms of coordination, communication and information sharing) through a diagnosis enriched with series of intermediate representations of the groupware. Secondly, the catching module mechanism should help groupware adoption through a targeted coaching strategy favouring the adoption of one particular feature of the tool. Then, we suggest that the interface and knowledge relations between the features will allow the progressive adoption of the different features of the tool. To test our mechanisms we conducted two experiments in the NPD context of Saint-Gobain Glass, a world leader of the flat glass industry. Our first experiment consisted in the participatory specification of two groupware modules using our first mechanism. The second experiment consisted in the integration of one of the groupware modules using the catching module mechanism. Our indicators show that the first mechanism helped to obtain a high level of compatibility with collective needs. The major improvements compared with the pre-existing offline tools are the compatibility with other NDP tools and the compatibility with the decisional processes in place. Our second experiment shows that the targeted coaching helped the progressive adoption of the different features of the groupware. The level of adoption of the features not included in the targeted coaching seems to be in direct relation with the number of links between features.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 12, 2007 - 8:00:00 AM
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Tomas Restrepo. Integration of CSCW tools in new product development: the mechanism of participatory elucidation of needs and the catching module mechanism as learning vectors. Humanities and Social Sciences. Arts et Métiers ParisTech, 2006. English. ⟨NNT : 2006ENAM0047⟩. ⟨pastel-00002140⟩

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