Process-Aware Information Systems for Virtual Teamwork

Process-Aware Information Systems for Virtual Teamwork

Schahram Dustdar (Vienna University of Technology, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch408
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The question of the “right” organizational form and the appropriate information systems support remains of paramount importance and still constitutes a challenge for virtually all organizations, regardless of industrial background. Organizations distribute their required work activities among groups of people (teams), with teams constituting the main building block for implementing the work (tasks). In most cases, team members are organized as “virtual (project) teams.” These teams are under heavy pressure to reduce time to market of their products and services and lower their coordination costs. Some characteristics of distributed virtual teams are that team (member) configurations change quite frequently and that team members report to different managers, maybe even in different organizations. From an information systems’ point of view, distributed virtual teams often are self-configuring networks of mobile and “fixed” people, devices, as well as applications. A newly emerging requirement is to facilitate not just mobility of content (i.e., to support a multitude of devices and connectivity modes) to team members, but also to provide contextual information on work activities to all distributed virtual team members (Dustdar, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c). By context, we mean traceable and continuous views of associations (relationships) between artifacts (e.g., documents, database records), resources (e.g., people, roles, skills), and business processes. Context is composed of information on the “who, when, how, and why.” The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows: The next section provides an overview of related work on classification systems of collaborative systems and provides an overview on evaluation aspects of current collaborative systems for virtual teamwork. Section 3 discusses some issues and problems related to the integration of artifacts, resources, and processes. Section 4 presents one proposed solution. Finally, Section 5 discusses some future trends and concludes the chapter.

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