Towards a Shared Platform for Virtual Collaboration Monitoring in Design Research

  • Thomas Kowark
  • Matthias Uflacker
  • Alexander Zeier
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Prior applications of a system to monitor IT-mediated communication activities of design teams provided new insights into the collaboration behavior during the early phases of concept creation and prototyping. We now take our approach to the next level by sketching an architecture for a platform that aims to establish ‘out- of-the-box’ monitoring capabilities for virtual team environments and to facilitate the sharing and evaluation of recorded activities within a larger research community. To further demonstrate the flexibility and applicability of our instrument, we present results and experiences gained from a recently conducted observation of software engineering teams. Our vision is a common service for capturing and analyzing virtual collaboration activities that promotes comparative research and team diagnostics in engineering design.


  1. Beck, K. (2000). Extreme programming explained: embrace change. Boston, MA, USA: Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing Co., Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Berry, D. M., & Tichy, W. F. (2003). Comments on "Formal Methods Application: An Empirical Tale of Software Development". IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 29, 567–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casotto, A., Newton, A. R., & Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, A. (1990). Design management based on design traces. DAC '90: Proceedings of the 27th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference, (pp. 136–141). New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  4. DeGrace, P., & Stahl, L. H. (1990). Wicked problems, righteous solutions. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Yourdon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dixon, J. R. (1987). On research methodology towards a scientific theory of engineering design. AI EDAM, 1 (03), 145–157.Google Scholar
  6. Embley, D. W., & Kimbrell, R. E. (1985). A scheme-driven natural language query translator. Proceedings of the 1985 ACM thirteenth annual conference on Computer Science (pp. 292–297). New Orleans, Louisiana, United States: ACM.Google Scholar
  7. Larman, C., & Basili, V. R. (2003). Iterative and Incremental Development: A Brief History. Computer, 36, 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Schwaber, K., & Beedle, M. (2001). Agile Software Development with Scrum. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Prentice Hall PTR.Google Scholar
  9. Uflacker, M. (2010). Monitoring Virtual Team Collaboration: Methods, Applications, and Experiences in Engineering Design. Hasso Plattner Institute for IT Systems Engineering, Potsdam, Germany.Google Scholar
  10. Uflacker, M., & Zeier, A. (2009). A platform for the temporal evaluation of team communication in distributed design environments. CSCWD '09: Proceedings of the 2009 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design (pp. 338–343). Washington, DC, USA: IEEE Computer Society.Google Scholar
  11. Uflacker, M., & Zeier, A. (2010). A semantic network approach to analyzing virtual team interactions in the early stages of conceptual design. Future Generation Computer Systems , 27 (1), 88–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Uflacker, M., Kowark, T., & Zeier, A. (2010). An Instrument for Real-Time Design Interaction Capture and Analysis. In C. a. Meinel (Ed.), Design Thinking: Understand -- Improve -- Apply. Springer (in print).Google Scholar
  13. Wageman, R., Hackmann, J. R., & Lehman, E. V. (2005). Team Diagnostic Survey: Development of an Instrument. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 41 (4), 373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Kowark
    • 1
  • Matthias Uflacker
    • 1
  • Alexander Zeier
    • 1
  1. 1.Hasso Plattner InstituteUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

Personalised recommendations