Title: How to address virtual teamwork in SMEs by an innovative co-design platform

Authors: Michele Germani, Maura Mengoni, Margherita Peruzzini

Addresses: Universita Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy. ' Universita Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy. ' Universita Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

Abstract: Collaborative product development is crucial for extended enterprises in order to promote innovation facing market competitiveness. Co-design software platforms aim at facilitating companies networking to achieve common design goals. A successful cooperation depends on tools| ability to effectively manage communication, data sharing in distributed teams and specific interaction requirements. In the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the integration of design and supply chains is not a trivial task. Their highly flexible organisation makes difficult to manage multidisciplinary teamwork and advanced co-design software implementation. This paper presents a structured method for defining an innovative co-design platform for SMEs. System architecture can be defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionalities performance of available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognised in typical SMEs product development process. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration needs is managed by adopting quality function deployment (QFD) techniques.

Keywords: co-design platforms; collaborative product development; computer supported cooperative work; CSCW; virtual teamwork; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; quality function deployment; QFD.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLM.2011.038102

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management, 2011 Vol.5 No.1, pp.54 - 72

Available online: 18 Jan 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article