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Chapter 10
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  1. Chapter 10 COLLABORATIVE COMPUTER-SUPPORTED TECHNOLOGIES AND GROUP SUPPORT SYSTEMS

  2. Learning Objectives • Understand the basic concepts and processes of groupwork, communication, and collaboration • Describe how computer systems facilitate communication and collaboration in an enterprise • Explain the concepts and importance of the time/place framework • Explain the underlying principles and capabilities of groupware, such as group support systems (GSS)

  3. Learning Objectives • Understand the concepts of process gain, process loss, task gain, and task loss and explain how GSS introduces, increases, or decreases each of them • Describe indirect support for decision making, especially in synchronous environments • Become familiar with the GSS products of the major vendors, including Lotus, Microsoft, WebEx, and Groove • Understand the concept of GDSS and describe how to structure an electronic meeting in a decision room

  4. Learning Objectives • Describe the three settings of GDSS • Describe specifically how a GDSS uses parallelism and anonymity and how they lead to process/task gains and losses • Understand how the Web enables collaborative computing and group support of virtual meetings • Describe the role of emerging technologies in supporting collaboration • Define creativity and how it can be facilitated by computers

  5. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • Groupwork Any work being performed by more than one person

  6. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • Characteristics of groupwork • A group performs a task (sometimes decision making, sometimes not) • Group members may be located in different places • Group members may work at different times • Group members may work for the same organization or for different organizations • A group can be permanent or temporary • A group can be at one managerial level or can span several levels

  7. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • Characteristics of groupwork • There can be synergy (leading to process and task gains) or conflict in groupwork • There can be gains and/or losses in productivity from groupwork • The task may have to be accomplished very quickly • It may be impossible or too expensive for all the team members to meet in one place, especially when the group is called for emergency purposes • Some of the needed data, information, or knowledge may be located in many sources, some of which may be external to the organization

  8. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • Characteristics of groupwork • The expertise of non-team members may be needed • Groups perform many tasks; however, groups of managers and analysts frequently concentrate on decision making • The decisions made by a group are easier to implement if supported by all (or at least most) members

  9. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • The group decision-making process • The decision situation is important, so it is advisable to make it in a group in a meeting • A meeting is a joint activity engaged in by a group of people typically of equal or nearly equal status • The outcome of a meeting depends partly on the knowledge, opinions, and judgments of its participants and the support they give to the outcome

  10. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • The group decision-making process • The outcome of a meeting depends on the composition of the group and on the decision making process the group uses. • Differences in opinions are settled either by the ranking person present or, often, through negotiation or arbitration

  11. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • The group decision-making process • The members of a group can be in one place, meeting face-to-face, or they can be a virtual team, in which case they are in different places while in a meeting • Virtual team A team whose members are in different places while in a meeting together • The process of group decision making can create benefits as well as dysfunctions

  12. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • The benefits and limitations of groupwork • Process gains In GSS, improvements in the effectiveness of the activities of a meeting • Process losses In GSS, degradation in the effectiveness of the activities of a meeting • Groupthink In a meeting, continual reinforcement of an idea by group members

  13. Making Decisions in Groups:Characteristics, Process, Benefits, and Dysfunctions • Improving the meeting process • Nominal group technique (NGT) A simple brainstorming process for nonelectronic meetings • Delphi method A qualitative forecasting methodology using anonymous questionnaires. Effective for technological forecasting and for forecasting involving sensitive issues

  14. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems • Overview of computerized support for groupwork • The Web supports intra- and interorganizational collaborative decision making through collaboration tools and access to data, information, and knowledge from inside and outside the organization

  15. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems • Overview of computerized support for groupwork • Intranets sustain intraorganizational networked decision support • Extranets link people and teams from different organizations together

  16. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems

  17. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems • Time/place framework • Synchronous (real-time) Occurring at the same time • Asynchronous Occurring at different times

  18. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems • Time/place framework • The time and place combination can be viewed as a four-cell matrix or framework: • Same time/same place • Same time/different place • Different time/same place • Different time/different place (any time, any place)

  19. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems • What computers can and cannot do • Modern Web-based information technologies provide an inexpensive, fast, capable, and reliable means of supporting communications • Computerized communication methods do not transmit most of our nonverbal cues

  20. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Groupware tools • Groupware Computerized technologies and methods that aim to support the work of people working in groups • Synchronous products • Web conferencing • Instant messaging (IM) • Voice over IP (VoIP) • Asynchronous products • E-mail • Wikilogs • Online workspaces

  21. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Groupware tools • Virtual meeting systems • Virtual meetings Online meetings whose members are in different locations, even in different countries

  22. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Real-time collaboration tools • Real-time collaboration (RTC)tools help companies bridge time and space to make decisions and collaborate on projects • RTC tools are used in: • Distance training • Product demonstrations • Customer support • E-commerce • Sales applications

  23. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Real-time collaboration tools • Electronic teleconferencing • Teleconferencing The use of electronic communication that allows tow or more people at different locations to have a simultaneous conference • Video teleconferencing (videoconferencing) Virtual meeting in which participants in one location can see participants at other locations on a large screen or a desktop computer

  24. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Electronic teleconferencing • Data conferencing Virtual meeting in which geographically dispersed groups work on documents together and exchange computer files during videoconferences • Web conferencing is conducted on the Internet for as few as two and for as many as thousands of people allowing users to simultaneously view something on their computer screens; interaction takes place via messaging or a simultaneous phone teleconference

  25. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Real-time collaboration tools • Interactive whiteboards • Screen sharing Software that enables group members, even in different locations, to work on the same document, which is shown on the PC screen of each participant • Instant video

  26. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Support of asynchronous communication • E-mail • Short message service (SMS) wireless messages • Blogs • Wikis

  27. Tools for Indirect Support of Decision Making • Support of asynchronous communication • Online (electronic) workspace Online screens that allow people to share documents, files, project plans, calendars, etc., in the same online place, though not necessarily at the same time

  28. Integrated Groupware Suites • A software suite is created when several products are integrated into one system • Integrating several technologies can save time and money for users • Electronic brainstorming A computer-supported methodology of idea generation by association. This group process uses analogy and synergy

  29. Integrated Groupware Suites • Lotus Notes/Domino and Lotusphere • Microsoft Netmeeting and Live Meeting • Groove Networks • WeBex Meeting Center and PlaceWare Conference Center

  30. Supporting Groupwork with Computerized Systems

  31. Integrated Groupware Suites • Enterprise-wide collaboration systems (EMS) An information technology–based environment that supports group meetings (groupware), which may be distributed geographically and temporally

  32. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • Group decision support systems (GDSS) An interactive computer-based system that facilitates the solution of semistructured and unstructured problems by a group of decision makers

  33. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • Group support system (GSS) Information systems that support the work of groups (communication, decision making) generally working on unstructured or semistructured problems • Electronic meeting systems (EMS) An information technology-based environment that supports group meetings (groupware), which may be distributed geographically and temporally

  34. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • How GDSS (or GSS) improves groupwork • Parallelism In a group-support system, a process gain in which everyone in a group can work simultaneously (in brainstorming, voting, ranking, etc.)

  35. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • GDSS (or GSS): • Supports parallel processing of information and idea generation (parallelism). • Enables the participation of larger groups with more complete information, knowledge, and skills. • Permits the group to use structured or unstructured techniques and methods.

  36. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • GDSS (or GSS): • Offers rapid, easy access to external information • Allows parallel computer discussions. • Helps participants frame the big picture. • Anonymity allows shy people to contribute to the meeting • Anonymity helps prevent aggressive individuals from driving a meeting

  37. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • GDSS (or GSS): • Provides for multiple ways to participate in instant, anonymous voting • Enables several users to interact simultaneously • Records all information presented at a meeting

  38. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • Facilities for GDSS • Decision room An arrangement for a group support system in which PCs are available to some or all participants. The objective is to enhance groupwork • Multiuse facilities • Internet/intranet-based systems

  39. Direct Computerized Support for Decision Making: From GDSS to GSS • Facilities for GDSS • Which GSS Facility to Use? • In decision rooms and multiuse facilities a trained facilitator is necessary to coordinate and facilitate the meetings • Internet/intranet-based systems are most frequently used because they avoid the high cost of constructing a facility, finding an experienced facilitator, and the need to have participants connect from other locations at any time

  40. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation • Organizing a GSS session—Face-to-face, same time/same place electronic meetings generally follow a common progression • The group leader meets with the facilitator to plan the meeting—select the software tools and develop an agenda • The participants meet in the decision room, the leader poses a question or problem to the group • The participants type their ideas or comments (i.e., brainstorm), and the results are displayed publicly

  41. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation • Organizing a GSS session • The facilitator, using idea organization software, searches for common themes, topics, and ideas and organizes them into rough categories, the results are publicly displayed • The leader starts a discussion, the participants prioritize the ideas • The top 5 or 10 topics are sent to idea-generation software following a discussion; the process can be repeated or a final vote can be taken

  42. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation

  43. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation • GSS success factors • Organizational commitment • An executive sponsor • An operating sponsor • User involvement and training • A user-seductive interface

  44. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation • GSS success factors • Crafting a collaborative culture—three steps toward creating a work environment that supports collaboration • Know what you want • Determine resource constraints • Determine what technologies can be used to overcome resource constraints

  45. Products and Tools for GDSS/GSS and Successful Implementation • Implementation issues for online collaboration • To connect business partners, an organization needs an effective collaborative environment; provided by groupware suites • The need to connect collaborative tools with file management products on an organization's intranet • Automatic language translation • Protocols are needed for easy integration of different applications and to standardize communication

  46. Emerging Collaboration Tools: From VoIP to Wikis • Voice over IP(VoIP) (Internet telephony) Communication systems that transmit voice calls over Internet Protocol-based networks

  47. Emerging Collaboration Tools: From VoIP to Wikis • Voice over IP (VoIP) • Benefits of VoIP for business • Allows CIOs to explore different deployment options for company’s communications needs • Lowers total cost of ownership • Lowers operational costs • Reduces hardware requirements on the server side for certain applications • Provides a holistic approach to security • Helps streamline workflows • Enables optimized conferencing tools to replace business travel

  48. Emerging Collaboration Tools: From VoIP to Wikis • Voice over IP (VoIP) • Benefits of VoIP for users • Eliminates unwanted interruptions and unproductive actions by intelligently filtering communications • Speed decision making by providing access to real-time presence information, • Initiates ad hoc conferencing/collaboration sessions • Enables participation in conferencing sessions quickly and easily via a variety of mobile devices

  49. Emerging Collaboration Tools: From VoIP to Wikis • Collaborative workflow • Wiki A piece of server software available in a Web site that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser • Wikilog A blog that allows everyone to participate as a peer; any one may add, delete, or change content

  50. Emerging Collaboration Tools: From VoIP to Wikis • Collaboration hubs The central point of control for an e-market. A single c-hub, representing one e-market owner, can host multiple collaboration spaces (c-spaces) in which trading partners use c-enablers to exchange data with the c-hub