The Success of Software Support in Engineering: An Emphasis on Process Rather Than Product

A. Whyte, H. M. Edge, A. AL-Hajj

Abstract


There is a need for technological computerized support systems to supplement the structure and process of communication within the multi-disciplinary design team rather than attempt to substitute it. Understanding technological effects on the design process requires focus not on the packages of hardware and software themselves but on the specific roles and social variables that are intrinsic to specialist interaction. The role of inter-professional relationships is important in collaboration towards increasingly technologically complex solutions, and neglect of these relations may lead to the failure of existing information technology systems to support adequately scientific and engineering interaction. Technological influences on the processes of participation come about as a result of design team member choice about what features of technology to use, not from the technology itself. Group dynamics influence choice. Software support systems in isolation, will be unable to instil the crossfertilisation of multi-disciplinary professional objectives required for innovative design. Research is presented that explores the nature of inter-disciplinary relationships in the UK building-design team at the formative stage. The research examines the extent to which the collaborative processes of building-design must be addressed if IT products and moves towards computer-integrated-construction are to succeed in facilitating innovative building and engineering output.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague