گوش دادن به کاربران در یک سازمان ساخت: رویکرد مبتنی بر متن به توسعه یک سیستم کار مشترک پشتیبانی کامپیوتر
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22116||2003||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7064 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Volume 32, Issue 4, October 2003, Pages 251–264
This paper reports the findings of a field research effort to develop a computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) system in a power tool organization and provides an overview of the features of this system. It presents the customer-driven, context-based methodology that was used to capture the workflow and the critical issues that must be addressed by the CSCW system. It also describes the evaluation techniques and performance measures that were used to compare the resulting system with the existing product development system in the organization. It was found that a combination of ethnographic and human-centered design methodologies is a powerful approach for capturing information about stakeholder needs and using it to develop a CSCW system in such organizations. Through evaluative ethnography it was possible to determine tasks that were feasible and others that were inappropriate for integration into the CSCW system. This methodology also identified issues that hindered the adoption of the CSCW system, permitting strategies for adoption to be proposed that might serve as guidelines to designers of future CSCW systems. Lastly, this development, implementation, and evaluation of a CSCW system in an industrial environment demonstrate its effectiveness to other similar organizations that could benefit from the use of CSCW systems.
Current trends in product development are characterized by a rapid evolution of product and process technology, coupled with greater access to information technology. Not only must the product design meet customer requirements, but it should also result in a product that can be cost-effectively manufactured within the organization's processes. Manufacturing organizations must increasingly cope with leaner cost structures, shorter product life cycles, product diversification, minimal inventories and buffer stocks, extremely short lead times, shrinking batch sizes, and concurrent processing of multiple products and orders (Schmidt, 1991; Bernstein, 2000; Reed, 2001). 1.1. Improving internal collaboration In the mid-1990s many organizations adopted a concurrent engineering approach to reduce design cycle time and improve product value (Duffy et al., 1995). Concurrent engineering is based on the integrated design of products and their manufacturing and support processes. This approach, however, introduces new difficulties. First, not all team members can attend all product development meetings due to “time–place” constraints. This may lead to information bottlenecks, which result in increased design time, production delays, and extra costs (Forsythe and Ashby, 1996). Second, non-team members may feel neglected and excluded from the product development process, making it difficult to obtain valuable information from them. Further, most engineering change control systems are paper-intensive, bureaucratic, complex, and slow (Erhorn and Stark, 1994). This can result in processing durations of days or weeks, even though the actual processing time might be only a few minutes or hours. Information must be available to users when they need it or valuable time is lost. These problems are further exacerbated today by the globalization of manufacturing and the physical dispersion of product teams. A more cooperative effort involving faster and more simultaneous processing of information is required. There is a need for enterprise-wide electronic archives that are readily and efficiently accessed by all functional areas throughout the product development project. A recent survey of mid-sized manufacturing companies in North America (“Survey reveals manufacturers’ challenges,” 2000) found that for 60%, improving productivity on the plant floor was the most important issue facing them and 33% of those companies planned to invest in new technologies to accomplish improved workflow customization. Although information technology has impacted many areas of business organizations, the areas of manufacturing and product development have lagged behind other areas, such as human resources and sales and marketing, in adopting networked systems, such as intranets (Lai, 2001). However, this is starting to change, and some instances of computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) are now being used in manufacturing applications. For example, Reed (2001) discusses the use of electronic work instructions to provide plant floor operators the information they need to do their jobs, where and when they need it, and states that this can lead to increased productivity and effectiveness, as well as alignment of plant floor activities and corporate strategy. 1.2. CSCW: background CSCW examines how people work together in groups and how “groupware” technologies can support collaboration (Ishii et al., 1994). “Groupware” is a label for computer-based systems explicitly designed to support people working together. Examples of groupware include e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, group scheduling systems, group decision support systems, collaborative authoring tools, and screen sharing software. Designing tools for collaborative work systems is a challenge, because our understanding of these systems is still fairly limited, and even less so in a manufacturing environment, as most of the literature addresses the application of groupware to other domain areas. Further, most reports either describe the features of a CSCW system or discuss the theories associated with CSCW and groupware (for example, see Olson et al., 1993; Berg, 1998; Ackerman, 2000; Bernstein, 2000). Few studies, such as those by Kensing et al. (1998), and Symon (1998), present the methods used to develop the system, the information collected, and the techniques and criteria used to evaluate the system. The paucity of this information makes it harder for other developers to build a successful CSCW system. Research in collaborative work systems is more difficult than in single-user systems. The multiplicity of users makes it very difficult to conduct controlled experiments and the flood of data from multiple users complicates orderly analysis. With collaborative systems, theories must encompass the conversations among the participants, the roles they adopt, the organizational setting which guides many group activities implicitly, as well as cultural practices (Olson et al., 1993). To be effective, collaborative work systems must support actual work practices as the participants construct them, rather than simply the officially sanctioned and documented practices (Murray and Hewitt, 1994). The fields of small-group psychology, industrial and organizational behavior, sociology, and anthropology provide useful research paradigms, but often researchers must develop their own methodologies. To determine the requirements for a successful product, field studies must be undertaken in the organizational environment (Helander, 1994). Controlled experiments in a laboratory are unsuitable for this purpose because it is not possible to reproduce the cognitive and organizational context of the product development process in the laboratory. It is necessary to model cognitive processes in the ever-changing manufacturing environment, where many actions are performed due to opportunistic endeavors, rather than as planned activities. Although field studies in work settings suffer from a lack of both precise control and systematic variation of variables, they are necessary for generating hypotheses and understanding what information is actually used in a collaborative work environment (Konradt, 1995). 1.3. Objectives This paper reports the findings of a field research effort to develop a CSCW system in an organization that designs and produces power tools. It provides an overview of the features of this CSCW system. It then presents the customer-driven, context-based methodology that was used to capture the workflow and the critical issues that must be addressed by the CSCW system, and the evaluation techniques and performance measures that were used to compare the resulting system with the existing product development system in the organization. Lastly, it discusses adoption issues and suggests strategies for the implementation of CSCW systems in production environments.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The development and implementation of a CSCW system in a manufacturing organization and users’ positive evaluations of it relative to the existing system demonstrate the potential of CSCW systems to enhance the product development process. The conduct of this research in an industrial environment increases our knowledge and understanding of the contextual issues encountered in a collaborative work system and demonstrates a methodology that may be used to develop and implement CSCW systems in industrial applications. The issues and problems identified during this research are probably representative of many medium-scale manufacturing organizations. This research has shown that human-centered design methodologies provide a powerful approach for capturing information in the context of the work environment and using it to develop a CSCW system for such organizations. Although it is essential to involve users in the design process, participatory design methodologies, which focus mainly on the usability aspects of the system, are not enough. Users often understand the nature of their own tasks very well, but they are not always aware of how these tasks fit into the overall organization of work activities. Through ethnographic evaluation it was possible to determine tasks that were appropriate and others that were inappropriate for integration into the CSCW system. The ethnographic evaluation methodology also identified issues that restricted the adoption of the CSCW system, permitting strategies for adoption to be proposed that might serve as guidelines for designers of future CSCW systems. The ethnographic methodology used in this research played an important role in capturing the opportunistic actions of users within the system. Often, this results in discovering latent needs—those needs of which a user is not yet aware, that when met, bring a high level of satisfaction. The methodology facilitated rapid development and testing of prototypes through access to potential stakeholders within the organization. Further, it played an important role in gaining the trust of stakeholders and developing a rapport with them, easing identification of critical design issues. Finally, it allowed the researchers the option of standing-in for the end-user for at least part of the evaluation, using the ethnographic record to validate that essential work practices were being supported by the CSCW system. This reduces the probability of exposing end-users to an inappropriate system that may be immediately rejected. This methodology, however, is not without its drawbacks. The use of unstructured observations makes it difficult to organize and direct the ethnographic record so that observations can be correlated with system requirements and put in a form that is readily usable for system design. The ability of the methodology to capture critical tacit information requires continued and extensive presence at the work site. Nonetheless, this development and implementation of a CSCW system in a manufacturing organization demonstrates the effectiveness of the methodology employed, as well as the potential CSCW systems have to address the needs of product development organizations.