A novel systematic method to evaluate computer supported collaborative design technologies

Brisco, R. and Whitfield, R. I. and Grierson, H. (2020) A novel systematic method to evaluate computer supported collaborative design technologies. Research in Engineering Design, 31. p. 53. ISSN 0934-9839 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00163-019-00323-7)

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Selection of suitable computer-supported collaborative design (CSCD) technologies is crucial to facilitate successful projects. This paper presents the first systematic method for engineering design teams to evaluate and select the most suitable CSCD technologies comparing technology functionality and project requirements established in peer-reviewed literature. The paper first presents 220 factors that influence successful CSCD. These factors were then systematically mapped and categorised to create CSCD requirement statements. The novel evaluation and selection method incorporates these requirement statements within a matrix and develops a discourse analysis text processing algorithm with data from collaborative projects to automate the population of how technologies impact the success of CSCD in engineering design teams. This method was validated using data collected across 3 years of a student global design project. The impact of this method is the potential to change the way engineering design teams consider the technology they use and how the selection of appropriate tools impacts the success of their CSCD projects. The development of the CSCD evaluation matrix is the first of its kind enabling a systematic and justifiable comparison and technology selection, with the aim of best supporting the engineering designers collaborative design activity.