Coordination of heterogeneous teams with a user-adaptive groupware
The methods and models of the concurrent engineering taken from the industry domain are unsuitable for the domain of the construction, which is characterized by a singular context of cooperation. The existing groupware tools can not be directly used in the framework of the architectural conception. These tools transpose in computer terms existing situations with hierarchical rules. Therefore, these tools couldn't respect the strong autonomy, of the actors in the French building context. They require a high level of definition of procedures and exchanges, which is incompatible with the flexibility of current practices. This paper describes the representation of a project inside a groupware tool dedicated to heterogeneous and short-lived teams. The solution, we propose, give a relational vision of the cooperation and of the interactions existing during the processes of conception-construction in architectural works. At first, we present the particularity of the context of the building cooperation, then we illustrate the problems put by the use of a groupware tool based on a hierarchical data organization. Finally, we propose a new model of cooperation where the relational organization of the project is taken into account. Our first interest point concerns the representation of actors, documents and assignments as a relational network and not as a hierarchical tree, mostly used in the groupware tools. In a second point, we use this relational network to produce a hyperdocument representation of the project data. This hyperdocument representation gives an adaptive view of the project organization and evolution to each actor in order to display information related to him only. The integration of this new dimension allows the groupware to propose to the user an adapted vision of the project by taking into account the role he plays inside the project.