Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
efficient way of gaining the right decision amongst the draftsmen and calculation engineers and to combine their efforts in every day life the MDB- project offers two computer-supported co-operative approaches:
Knowledge Management for asynchronous co-operative work
Application Sharing for synchronous co-operative work
The development process requires both synchronous as well as asynchronous techniques of collaboration. The goal of the computer-assisted co-operation support is the shortening of the development-cycles and thus the reduction of the time and costs of product development.
3.1 Knowledge Management for asynchronous co-operative work
For the development of the MDB a rapid prototyping approach was realized. The continuous feedback of users and system administrators lead to the conclusion, that a knowledge management component ( Davenport 1997) is necessary to support the asynchronous co-operative work. The analysis showed that large amounts of data have to be managed that are frequently changed and updated. Therefore a solution to stay up-to date with the material related knowledge inside the MDB is required. On top of this problem we identified the need to gather material-related knowledge that is made during development projects all over the enterprise and feed it back into the system.As the MDB is based on a relational database system ( Date 1995) a solution that utilizes the DB technology was preferred. The database system supports some core functionalities of a groupware system: secure data management and information distribution between the server and the remote clients. The following functionalities have been developed:
the message of the day function is realized as push-technology and delivers actual news to the user. Older news are stored in the system and
the change information function is set up as pull-technology. It supports chronologically sorted notes on changes of material properties. The user can choose a material from the list to get the information.
the knowledge pool gathers and preserves know-how made during development projects. Every engineer has to document new experiences and send them through the built-in groupware component to the material experts. They consolidate the information, add their own comments and feed this knowledge back into the system. This process sets up a corporate memory in time.

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