June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1348.1 - 14.1348.12
Virtual Engineering Design Teams
Abstract Globalization has moved to the forefront in industry today; more and more companies have to face a global work environment. As a result, global teams with members scattered across the globe have progressively emerged. At the same time, a revolution, coined as the “v-revolution,” is slowly creeping into business proceedings. The v-revolution describes the emerging growth in the use of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds, such as Second Life®, are gradually evolving as common business practices. Some companies, such as IBM, currently use the medium to conduct meetings and others, such as Nissan, are using its 3D design capabilities to build prototypes. These two emerging tendencies are being integrated to create what is known as the virtual engineering design team. These are global teams consisting of several engineers geographically distant, aiming at a common design.
In light of these progressive changes in industry, notable in engineering as well, it becomes apparent that a new generation of engineers will be needed; a generation of virtually apt engineers. This paper will present a thorough literature review of the characteristics and specifics of such teams; particularly it will look at the problems and advantages portrayed in the available literature. As a result of our findings, improvements, adaptations, and possible new directions in the education of the future engineers will be suggested.
Introduction Virtual engineering teams may become dominant in a future where globalization and competitiveness will require faster and more international team settings. As the environment requires more cost containment, organizations are transforming into virtual organizations. Even engineering organizations are following the trend and developing virtual engineering design teams, also known as e-engineering teams, which have the capability to have a distant panel of experts who not only improve the design process, but also deliver a more cost competitive product. Virtual teams are also able to provide flexibility in product design which has become more and more crucial to companies as they seek to meet the needs of their widespread and diverse markets Furthermore, even if business itself does not push the transition into virtuality, this will be brought forward by the upcoming workforce. In fact, virtuality already is the common practice of the uprising workforce. This uprising workforce which is none other than the Y generation is mainly characterized by its technology affinity, with their use of social networks, instant messaging, blogging, virtual worlds immersion etc. In fact, as the Y generation, also known as the “digital natives,” is progressively entering the workforce; the “virtual world” will progress into reality as well.
As we advance further into the digital age, virtual engineering teams may become the norm for engineering teams; a key imperative for modern business proceedings. As a result, more research as to be undertaken in order to understand the dynamics of these teams along with the other key characteristics.
Wyrick, D., & Cisse, A. (2009, June), Virtual Engineering Design Teams Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5494
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