A contextual visualization to support cooperative conception
A conception project is a professional and social activity inside a group of actors which belongs to the same or a different organization. The actors cooperate to achieve a same objective which can be the production of a document, a manufactured product, a plane or a building. This collaboration generates much information such as professional documents (contracts, norms, working documents, plans...), activities (tasks, planning, deadlines, meetings,..) and exchanges (mail, faxes, phone calls, notifications). All or a part of this information is needed by each actor to evaluate the project evolution and to determine what he has to do inside. The role of a cooperative project management tool is to offer each actor not only a good vision of the project evolution but also the extent of his action potential .
Our approach focuses on the early phases of the project and the cooperative design context, where the decision-making power is distributed inside the group. The actor's capacity of decision depends on his role inside the project. This kind of project takes place in a small organization or in a small group of organizations which is specially constituted to carry out a project (Halin et al., 2002). We are in a network model of actors instead of a hierarchical model as we find in classical worflow tools. This organization has to be represented in the project management tool to give each user the realistic vision of the project organization.
Key words: concurrent engineering, multimedia and user interface, Information system design and analysis, project management.