Title: Groupware Support for Requirements Management in New Product Development

Authors: A. Salo and T. Käkölä

Status: Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce Vol. 15, No. 4, 2005, pp. 253-284.

Keywords: Computer mediated communication; Decision support systems; Groupware; Information systems design theory; Knowledge management; New product development; Organizational learning; Process maturity; Requirements management; Shared knowledge creation.

Large high-technology companies operate in fiercely competitive international markets. To succeed they need to shorten the cycle time of new product development (NPD) while improving product quality and maintaining or reducing the total resources required. Their abilities to meet these business goals depend on how extensively and effectively they collect, analyze, and utilize requirements in their product development. Creating and sharing such knowledge is complicated partly because the NPD activities of large companies are geographically distributed. Groupware technologies allow knowledge to be created and shared more effectively. Thus they hold considerable potential as means of meeting the goals. Yet, little theory-based guidance is available to help design groupware-based requirements management systems (RMS) for large geographically distributed organizations. This paper draws on existing literature and experiences from large-scale distributed industrial development projects at Nokia to start building a design theory that answers the following question: What are the necessary and sufficient properties of RMS and how RMS should be designed and introduced in large high-technology companies to best achieve the business goals? The main contributions of the paper are (1) the creation of a generic set of requirements for RMS, (2) the development of the RMS design, and (3) the empirical validation of the design by analyzing instantiations of the design at various product lines of Nokia.