Cross-Disciplinary Virtual Design Teams
Scott P. Schaffer (Purdue University, USA), Melissa Lee Price (Staffordshire University, UK) and Therese M. Schmidt (Purdue University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
Software development teams that work together well, particularly those that can operate virtually, are an enormous competitive advantage for organizations (Cohen & Gibson, 2003). One challenge for software development or new product development teams in a global marketplace is managing and developing individuals from different disciplines who are remotely located. Such teams often encounter communication, environmental and philosophical barriers related to completing design tasks that threaten the success of projects (Warkenton, Sayeed & Hightower, 1997). For students at the university level, virtual cross-disciplinary learning experiences are key to their success in the competitive marketplace. The authors are currently in the second phase of an ongoing project designed to explore pedagogical, communications and logistical issues related to development of a sense of community between graduate students in the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (U.S.) (Schaffer et.al., 2005). One of the main goals of the current phase is to learn more about how virtual cross-disciplinary teams communicate and learn the concepts, models and discipline-specific language used by one another, as well as to identify key barriers and supports to such learning.