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IT Project Management Tool Requirements to Support Collaborative University-Industry R&D

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Abstract and Figures

University-industry R&D collaborations are increasing and being encouraged by governments as a mean of enhancing wealth creation. Those help industries to foster innovation and its level of competitiveness and universities to improve their academic results as well as their sources of funding. While there are available several IT project management tools, the specific context of university-industry R&D funded collaboration demands specific needs to effectively help on the management activities of both partners. Therefore, this study collects the functionalities and requirements of an IT tool to support the management of university-industry R&D through a case study research strategy. The case study selected was based on a large publicly funded R&D collaborative program that covers 30 R&D projects carried out by the University of Minho and Bosch Car Multimedia, named as Innovative Car HMI. The program embraced an investment of 54.7 M€ and involved around 500 people during three years (2015-2018). Based on the Innovative Car HMI adopted governance model and the functionalities of the existent IT project management tools, it was possible to identify the functionalities and requirements to develop a new software tool to support this typology of university-industry collaborations.
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2018 International Conference on Intelligent Systems (IS)
978-1-5386-7097-2/18/$31.00 ©2018 IEEE
IT Project Management Tool Requirements to
Support Collaborative University-Industry R&D
Sofia Silva
ALGORITMI Research Centre
Universidade do Minho
Guimarães, Portugal
sofia.silva187@gmail.com
Ricardo J. Machado
ALGORITMI Research Centre and
CCG/ZGDV Institute
Universidade do Minho
Guimarães, Portugal
rmac@dsi.uminho.pt
Gabriela Fernandes
ALGORITMI Research Centre
Universidade do Minho
Guimarães, Portugal
g.fernandes@dps.uminho.pt
Ana Lima
CCG/ZGDV Institute and ALGORITMI
Research Centre
Guimarães, Portugal
ana.lima@ccg.pt
Abstract University-industry R&D collaborations are
increasing and being encouraged by governments as a mean of
enhancing wealth creation. Those help industries to foster
innovation and its level of competitiveness and universities to
improve their academic results as well as their sources of funding.
While there are available several IT project management tools, the
specific context of university-industry R&D funded collaboration
demands specific needs to effectively help on the management
activities of both partners. Therefore, this study collects the
functionalities and requirements of an IT tool to support the
management of university-industry R&D through a case study
research strategy. The case study selected was based on a large
publicly funded R&D collaborative program that covers 30 R&D
projects carried out by the University of Minho and Bosch Car
Multimedia, named as Innovative Car HMI. The program
embraced an investment of 54.7 M€ and involved around 500
people during three years (2015-2018). Based on the Innovative
Car HMI adopted governance model and the functionalities of the
existent IT project management tools, it was possible to identify
the functionalities and requirements to develop a new software tool
to support this typology of university-industry collaborations.
Keywords—University-Industry Collaborative R&D; IT tool;
Requirements
I. INTRODUCTION
Collaborative R&D between university and industry are
increasing and making easier to share knowledge between the
two parties, contributing to innovation in general. These R&D
collaborations have received special attention, because they
offer several benefits to all stakeholders, including society. The
benefit is understood as the result of actions and behaviors that
are useful to stakeholders [1]. For example, collaborative R&D
allows industry to foster innovation and its level of
competitiveness, leading to profits’ increasement, allowing
universities to improve their sources of funding and
consequently the number of publications produced; and also
allows the regional/local economic development, namely
through the direct and indirect increase of production of goods
and services and export orientation of regional/local companies.
However, these collaborative university-industry R&D also face
many challenges, and the references available of how to manage
these challenges and benefits are still limited [2], [3].
Nowadays, information technologies have a wide influence
in all the organizational areas. Fernandes, Ward and Araujo [4]
argue that the corporate standardized/customized project
management (PM) too, i.e. a PM software, improves PM
practices and consequently project success. However, there is a
need to collect the requirements and functionalities of an IT PM
tool that supports the governance of collaborative university-
industry R&D. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to
identity the IT tool requirements to support these collaborations.
Based on a large collaborative university-industry R&D
program case study, covering 30 collaborative R&D projects,
this paper addresses the following research question: what are
the functionalities and requirements of IT tool to support the
management of collaborative university-industry R&D
programs and projects? Therefore, the governance model
established to the case study, named Innovative Car HMI, was
mainly the input used to answer the research question.
Firstly, it was study the available software tools for
managing projects and programs on the market, in order to verify
if there is a need to develop a new software tool to support
collaborative R&D between university and industry, and to use
them to benchmark and identify the requirements of such IT PM
tool. The study was focused on the existent online PM IT tools,
because of being easier to access all the activities in real time,
downloading and editing documents at any moment and place,
greater security is guaranteed for all the information involved
and this kind of tools are always ready to be used. Additionally,
the benefits of using such IT tool are also identified.
This paper follows a commonly used structure. The second
section presents the relation to existing theories and works,
namely the existent PM IT tools. The third section provides the
research applied, including a description of the case study and
the research methods applied. The fourth section describes the
proposed requirements and functionalities for the IT PM tool.
II. FUNCTIONALITIES OF EXISTENT PM IT TOOLS
After analyzing the existing tools in the market, it was easy
to conclude that the tools were focused of the project
management level and not at the program level. In general, the
tools allow the creation/management of several projects at the
same time, not necessarily projects of the same program. In this
way, it was studied the main characteristics of the available
online IT tools for PM [5], presented in the following
paragraphs. The first tool presented has a more complete and
necessary set of functionalities and the last one has more basic
functionalities.
Zoho Projects: The leading PM tool, in 2017, was Zoho
Projects [5]. It has a very clean and intuitive interface, easy to
use. The resources for collaborative work are one of the strengths
of this tool, along with the control and management of time spent
by each user/team member. The negative points of this tool are
the fact that error detection has extra cost and the drag-and-drop
functionality is not well exploited.
Teamwork Projects: One of the comparable tools to Zoho
Projects is Teamwork Projects [5]. It is also provided with a
simple and intuitive interface and, like the first, it gains from the
collaboration resources, which includes:
Messages, similar to state/publication sharing, with the
possibility of attaching files that can be organized by
categories and adjusting their privacy;
• A document repository that has a version control and the
possibility of organizing them by categories;
• Upload from Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
As a negative aspect, Teamwork Project does not offer the
possibility of integrate document editing.
These two applications, Zoho Projects and Teamwork
Projects, have certain functionalities in common, that are not
frequent in the area which are, for example:
• Generate reports with the data that the user wants;
• Visualization of the timeline of the other team members’ tasks;
• Definition of business rules that allows you to do something,
such as changing the severity, priority, module and assigning
a certain problem to a user of your choice;
• Organize and configure tasks by permission, state, etc.;
Control of document versions, with each change associated
with a note, date and author information.
LiquidPlanner: It attaches great importance to setting
priorities, effort, and resources spent to complete a task.
However, its interface is complex, quite technical and difficult
to learn. Note that this application has a built-in clock tool,
making it easier to control time spent by task and user, whether
billable or non-billable. This tool has no chat, which can be
considered a disadvantage. But, it is possible to communicate
through comments with mentions and hashtags.
Wrike: It is characterized by being flexible because it can be
a work management tool and collaboration services and not just
a project management tool itself [5]. This application allows to
create an unlimited number of projects and is provided with
some of the common features among all the applications of this
scope, such as time control, dashboards and scheduled and
personalized reports, definition of tasks’ deadlines, existence of
templates for newsletters and meetings and synchronization with
email and calendar. However, it has a less intuitive interface and
has notorious failures in certain functionalities. This application
loses because it does not include billing for hours and just
presenting results in list form and not has the option of display
them graphically. It also does not contain chat but allows to mark
a notification so that it always appears in the upper right corner
of the screen. Additionally, users are required to start a task
without being able to start the timing. In the other applications,
the timer is in the upper right corner of each panel, so that if the
user enters a task, the task begins automatically counting. Thus,
with Wrike it is not possible to establish a relationship between
the hours spent and the hours paid per task, while in Mavenlink
this is already possible.
Mavenlink: it stands out for being stable, rich in resources,
has good permission levels, a professional interface, clear and
direct, but it is expensive and does not has a chat feature. This
application is not provided with features that allows it to be
distinguished in any way. Thus, it can be said that this is a very
simple tool that is restricted to providing basic functionalities
within the area of project management, in terms of cost control,
time, permissions, file sharing, calendar, Gantt chart, task
management, billing, interactive and specialized reports,
analysis of trends and forecasts, templates, among others.
Workfront: One of the applications evaluated as simpler in
the scope of project management is the Workfront. However, it
has no chat or timer, so it is not possible to count the exact time
spent on each task or project. Like other applications mentioned
above, with Workfront it is also possible to have individual and
customized dashboards, generate reports and templates based on
the preferences of each project, upload files by saving different
versions and view graphs.
Volerro: It is a tool that offers most of the functionalities
necessary to work as a team [5]. It is classified as cheap, easy to
use, with a very intuitive interface and rich in features. It is
possible to manage several projects and create the own
workflow, and in the main environment each project is
represented by a card with a title, a personalized background and
some quick notes about it. In addition to all the basic
functionalities that exist in most of the applications in the scope
of PM, Volerro allows the development of templates and filters
projects, tasks, subtasks through colors or by the end date. A
limitation of this tool is in the reports, which are very simple and
difficult to understand, and only present the number of working
hours (counted through the timer) without matching the
respective billing. Volerro loses a lot of integration with other
applications, and it does not support almost any other
application.
TeamGantt: As the name indicates, it is very much based on
the Gantt Diagram. It has the possibility of creating multiple
projects at the same time and own templates of the diagram. This
is a very intuitive tool, because even the construction of the Gantt
chart is done by dragging the tasks and their dependencies. Note
that this tool has no chat and that the reports generated are
limited and are somehow rudimentary. In addition to this, only
in a premium version, it is possible to have control at a temporal
level. It also has a discussion section where you can share
comments about tasks and projects and upload documents that
can only be viewed. It has notifications by email only when
requested.
Celoxis: It also does not have chat and only has the
possibility of view the loaded documents [5]. Unlike TeamGantt,
Celoxis is provided with a time and financial control tool that
allows to keep track of the billed hours spent and a good
reporting tool. This tool has an intuitive interface, very
responsive, simple and easy to use. This online tool allows you
to identify if any of the members of the project has an extra
workload, readjusting it to fit the expected value.
Clarizen: This tool is slow, unresponsive and costly but easy
to navigate. Clarizen has time sheets and its information must be
entered by human hand.
It is essential that the chosen tool makes project and program
management easier without adding any hindrances. Through the
analysis of existing tools, it can be concluded that almost all the
software solutions used in this scope are endowed with a set of
functionalities that are essential, based on three fundamental
pillars of PM: planning; monitoring and management and
collaboration. Table I summarizes this set, making
correspondence between each functionality and one of the three
abovementioned pillars.
TABLE I: CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE THREE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
PILLARS, OBJECTIVES AND FUNCIONALITIES
Pillar Objective Functionality
Planning
Definition of concrete and specified
objectives
Scheduling tasks and
defining milestones
Inform user of the delivery time of
the task
Alert of the deadline of a
task
Predicting potential risks and
limitations
Time and resources
counting for each task
Planning /
Collaboration
Schedule meetings, events, etc.,
with the possibility of sharing the
calendar
Calendar
Monitoring and Management
Forecast completion dates for
certain tasks.
Time control by task and
by project
Creation of task lists with their
subtasks and their dependencies,
defining who they are assigned to
and their deadline.
Task Manage
Graphically display the tasks,
subtasks and their dependencies,
comparing what was planned with
what was actually done
Gantt Chart
Be aware of how the project
members accumulate expenses
throughout the project.
Expense and billing
control
To facilitate the interpretation of
data and information, and from
these reports, it may be concluded if
there are possible delays or failures
Generate reports either
automatically or from
templates based on the
most relevant data and
goals
Collaboration
Increase productivity and efficiency Document Sharing
Facilitate communication between
users, avoiding wasted time with
emails
Messages
In the particular context of collaborative university R&D
programs or projects, it is crucial that the PM IT tool has good
collaboration functionalities, allowing members involved in the
project to get in touch quickly, becoming aware of everything
that is being done, by whom, when and how it is being
developed. The possibility of working together and exchanging
opinions and files is central to the collaboration.
The following set of functionalities are indispensable in
collaboration:
• The possibility of following publications/tasks and being
aware of any changes produced;
• Access to the recent updates;
• Organize tasks according to the project and program life cycle;
Different permissions for different users, to make sure that
same task or entry is not accessed by several people at the
same time and to guarantee that changes only occur if the user
is allowed to make them;
• Control of different versions of documents, associating each
change with a note, date and information of the author;
• A contact list of all those involved in the project to facilitate
the information exchange;
Editing documents in collaboration without leaving the
platform;
Comments or alerts to make sure that users know the exact
moment when to determinate if the subject is being treated and
allowing to follow the changes practically in real time;
• Use of hashtags to make it easier and faster to filter and find
information that user needs or wants;
• Chat rooms that allows instant contact for clarification of
small doubts;
• Timer, counting and recording of time spent on each task from
the beginning to the end of it;
• Time sheets and the possibility of exporting them in various
formats;
• Unlimited (or high) number of projects;
• Ability to predict tasks or problems;
• Prioritization of tasks;
• The existence of notifications by email or by written or audible
alert.
III. RESEARCH APPROACH
An exploratory research was carried out, aiming to learn
from the experience of program and project internal stakeholders
of one case study, namely to understand the key stakeholders’
perceptions of what are the main objectives and requirements of
a PM IT tool to support the collaborative university-industry
R&D. Case study is perceived by researchers as one of the most
used research strategies [6]. By using them, researchers can
focus on a particular phenomenon and discover crucial
knowledge [7].
A. Case Study Background
Innovative Car HMI (IC-HMI) is a R&D collaborative
funded program resulted from a strategic partnership established
between University of Minho (UMinho) and Bosch Car
Multimedia Portugal S.A. (Bosch), with the aim of developing
and producing advanced car multimedia solutions. It comprised
30 multidisciplinary R&D projects, targeting product
development, quality control, and production management.
UMinho is currently among the most prestigious institutions
of higher education in Portugal, positioned in the top 150 of the
youngest higher education institutions (aged 50 and under)
worldwide. Founded in 1973, UMinho is engaged in the
valorization of the knowledge-research chain, development and
innovation. UMinho stands out by the volume of publications
and by the number of patent requests, as well as by the high level
of collaboration with industry, with around 250 R&D contracts
signed annually with industry players. Bosch is located in Braga,
Portugal, since its foundation in 1990. Over the years, Bosch
became one of the automotive industry’s biggest suppliers and
the leading plant of the Car Multimedia division of Bosch Group.
Presently, Bosch produces a wide portfolio of products, such as
navigation systems, instrumentation systems, car radios, steering
angle sensors and electronic controllers.
The IC-HMI program, still ongoing when this research was
conducted, with the 30 projects running at the same time, from
July 2015 to June 2018, foresees an investment of €54.7 million,
involving around 500 UMinho researchers and Bosch
collaborators, including the admission of 94 new staff dedicated
to R&D in Bosch and 173 new researchers in UMinho. The IC-
HMI program has planned 417 deliverables, the submission of
22 patent applications until June 2018 and 72 technical and
scientific publications until June 2021.
UMinho and Bosch have perceived the value of PM to
support the management of such collaboration; and therefore,
have established a governance model based on a purposely
developed approach especially devoted to program and project
management of collaborative university-industry R&D funded
contracts, named PgPM approach [8], [9].
UMinho and Bosch have invested in a dedicated
infrastructure of the type Project Management Office – named
Program and Project Management Office (PgPMO). The
PgPMO has a serving role [10] since its main objective is to
support both the Program Coordination and Project Teams
during the program and PM life cycle. Fig. 1 presents the
program organization adopted in IC-HMI program.
Fig. 1: IC-HMI organization chart
B. Research Methods
The research methods applied to the case study were
document analysis and observation. The analysis of several
documents was conducted to better understand the case study
context. The main document analyzed was the ICI-HMI
governance model, based on the developed approach especially
devoted to program and project management of collaborative
university-industry R&D funded contracts [8], [9]. This
document supports the Program and Projects management that
must be understood by both parties of the consortium as an
approach to continuous improvement towards responding to the
needs of all stakeholders.
The governance model describes its governance structure,
presenting its organizational structure and the functions and
responsibilities of each member. In addition, it is also described
the different phases of the program and the PM life cycles as well
as the relationship between the tools to support management.
Based on the analysis of this document and the observation of
different program stakeholders in naturally occurring situations,
namely during regular management and technical meetings, the
functionalities and requirements for the PM IT tool that will
support the collaborative university-industry R&D initiatives.
IV. FINDINGS
Attending the deeper study on the specific context of
collaborative university-industry R&D programs and projects.
The expected benefits for the use of a PM IT tool are: (1) support
the program and projects management for the stakeholders
involved in the initiative, mainly the Program Coordination team
and the PgMO team; (2) response to the PM needs of all
stakeholders involved; (3) guarantee/ facilitate that each
organizational structure of the program does what is defined for
it to do; (4) distinguish functions and responsibilities of the
stakeholders involved; (5) ensure the program and project life
cycles realization; (6) control the completion of each phase of
the program and project life cycles and its outputs; (7) ensure
that each phase complies with its flow chart (sequence of
activities); (8) ensure that each responsibility belongs to
someone and is performed by the respective person; (9) provide
the appropriate support documentation/templates at each stage
of the program and project, only accessible to those entitled to
it; (10) document management; (11) schedule of meetings; (12)
communicate the program and project news; (13) provide
timesheets for recording hours; (14) report the physical progress
of the activities; (15) periodic and continuous analysis of the
future forecast of the program and projects, such as future
productivity to meet the budget, future speed to meet the
deadline, new estimated completion date and estimated budget;
(16) overview of the projects and the program status; (17)
management of tasks according to established standards
(assignment of tasks, categorization, analysis of the degree of
execution, definition of state and priority); and (18) management
of change requests according to established standards
(description, justification of the request, prioritization, impact
analysis in the scope, time and cost).
A. PM IT Tool Functionalities
There are several reasons that support the fact that none of
the applications studied above is sufficient to support the IC-
HMI governance model. It can be concluded that none of the
mentioned tools has a set of functionalities that is central to
support the governance model and to fulfill the requirements and
the expected benefits of using a PM IT tool. Based on the case
study analysis, the set of functionalities that are identified as
essential to support university-industry R&D collaborations are:
1. Notifications of events, deadline and tasks by email and in
each user's own dashboard;
2. Index documents alphabetically in the repository;
3. Organization of tasks and assignment of tasks according to
the phases of Program and Project life cycles;
4. Existence of a contact list, based on company human
resources data, to be constantly updated. This list has each
user charge and his contact;
5. Possibility of mention any user and use of hashtags, in order
to find more easily something;
6. Possibility to manage an unlimited number of projects;
7. Predict tasks according to the phase of the program's life
cycle;
8. Prioritize and archive tasks;
9. List of updates to a general level of the Program;
10. Direct connection to email;
11. Visualize and edit documents in collaboration;
12. Timesheets and the possibility of exporting them;
13. Gantt chart, with a possibility of comparison between what
was planned and what was done.
Based on the list of benefits that we pretend to obtain from
the use of the application, it is possible to conclude that if the
previously studied tools do not support all the features described
above, it will definitely not fulfill certain benefits. This fact is
shown in the following Table II.
TABLE II: RELATION BETWEEN FUNCTIONALITIES AND NOT REACHED
BENEFITS
Benefit (not reached) Function
ality
Overview of projects and program status
Communication of the program news 1
Respond to the needs of all parties involved in the R&D
university-industry collaboration program
2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 9, 10
To guarantee/facilitate that each organ of the Program does what is
defined for him to do 4, 11
Periodic and continuous preparation of program future forecast,
such as the future prospect to meet budget, future policy to meet
the deadline, new scheduled final date and the estimated budget
7 e 13
Ensure that each phase meet its flow chart (sequence of activities)
Ensure that the sequence of project life cycles phases is realized
Ensure that the sequence of program life cycles phases is realized
8
Scheduling meetings 10
Provide timesheets for time recording 12
Actors represent a class of users of the product and may be
human or non-human. In the context of Innovative Car HMI, we
have the actors that are represented in Fig. 1.
To answer the fourth research question, were specified the
necessary requirements (functional, non-functional and
interface) for the development of the software tool for the
management of university-industry collaboration R&D projects
and programs, taking Innovative Car HMI as a case study.
B. Functional Requirements
1) Login / Logout;
2) Consult individual dashboard;
i. Check the state of the projects and respective
position of the user;
ii. View pending tasks;
iii. Write publications;
iv. Check the timeline of the remaining users;
v. Consult previous events;
vi. Consult individual calendar;
vii. Start/stop timer;
viii. See notifications panel;
ix. Enable/Disable on-screen notification;
3) Edit contact (human resources will be automatically
notified);
4) Eliminate contact (after verification by human
resources that it has been effectively excluded from the
project);
5) Consult contact;
6) Add/Remove Event;
7) Consult Disclosure and Sharing Results;
i. Add/Remove Clipping;
ii. Consult Clipping;
iii. Add/Remove Magazine;
iv. Consult Magazine;
v. Add/Remove Newsletter;
vi. Consult Newsletter;
vii. See Official logos;
viii. Consult Merchandise;
ix. Consult Events;
8) See Support Documentation;
i. Consult Presentations;
ii. Add Presentation;
iii. Remove Presentation;
9) See document "Governance Model";
10) Consult Templates;
i. Select folder "Projects" or "Program";
ii. Add template;
iii. Remove template;
iv. Consult template;
v. Download template;
vi. Edit template;
11) Consult Project PXX (where XX is the project
identification number within the program);
i. See ProjectCharterPXX;
ii. Add ProjectCharterPXX;
iii. Consult Project Management (dependent of
permissions, user can only have access to this
environment, if he is a member of the Project Team,
Program Managers or PMO Team);
1. Add document (to any of the directories: Project
Initiation, Initial Project Planning, Project Follow-up,
Project Execution, Project Monitoring and Control,
Project Replanning, Project Closure);
2. Remove document (from any of the directories:
Project Initiation, Initial Project Planning, Project
Follow-up, Project Execution, Project Monitoring and
Control, Project Replanning, Project Closure);
3. Edit document (this point is also dependent of
permissions and distribution of tasks, according to the
document and the user that wants to edit);
4. Consult to Gantt Chart;
5. Add Gantt Diagram;
6. Edit/Update Gantt Chart;
7. Consult list of tasks and subtasks, their date of
initiation and completion and current state;
8. Initialize list of tasks, subtasks and their
dependencies (with permission);
9. Edit/Update list of tasks and subtasks, their start
and finish date and current status (automatic
synchronization with calendar and with permission);
10. Prioritize task or subtask (with permission);
11. See Document Repository;
12. Consult any of the documents in any directorate
(Project Initiation, Initial Project Planning, Project
Follow-up, Project Execution, Project Monitoring and
Control, Project Replanning, Project Closure);
13. Collaboration session (with anyone, or more
than one, of online members);
14. Consult Timesheets;
15. Export Timesheet;
16. Consult calendar;
17. Add Reminder;
18. Remove reminder;
19. Edit Reminder;
12) Consult Program;
i. See Program Charter;
ii. Add Program Charter;
iii. Consult Program Management (dependent of
permissions, user can only have access to this environment
if he is a member of COF, Steering Committee, Program
Director, Program Managers or PMO Team);
1. Check the list of different phases and sub-phases
of the program, their date of initiation and completion
and current status;
2. Initialize the list of different phases and sub-
phases of the program, the respective date of initiation,
completion and current status (automatic
synchronization with calendar);
3. Edit/Update list of different phases and sub-
phases of the program in the beginning and end date
and current state (automatic synchronization with
calendar);
4. Consult to Gantt Chart;
5. Add Gantt Diagram;
6. Edit/Update Gantt Chart;
7. Consult list of tasks and subtasks, their date of
initiation and completion and current state;
8. Initialize list of tasks and subtasks;
9. Edit/Update list of tasks and subtasks, their date
of initiation and completion and current state
(automatic synchronization with calendar);
10. Prioritize task or subtask;
11. Consult document repository;
12. Add document (to any of the directories:
Program Preparation, Innovation Idea Papers, Project
Idea Sheets, Applications and Contracts, Program
Initiation, Charter and Kick-off Program, Initial
Program Plans, Delivery of Program Benefits,
(Re)Planning and Project Approval, Project
Supervision and Integration);
13. Remove document from any of the directories;
14. Consult any of the documents in any directory;
15. Edit document (dependent of permissions and
distribution of tasks, according to the document and
the user that wants to edit);
16. Initialize collaboration session with one or
more members online;
17. Consult Timesheets;
18. Export Timesheet;
19. Consult calendar;
20. Add Reminder;
21. Remove reminder;
22. Edit Reminder;
13) Enter Forum;
i. Add entry in forum;
ii. Attach files;
iii. View Forum Leaders
iv. View FAQ;
v. Edit FAQ (permission to PMO
Communication only);
vi. Search entry;
vii. Edit forum entry (only possible if the user
was the author);
viii. View most recent entries and possibility to
select the one you want;
ix. Select entry (in order to receive notification in
case of comments or changes);
14) Start chatting;
15) View history and possibility to select entries.
C. Non-Functional Requirements
1) Existence of Login restrictions of access;
2) Automatic link to human resources database, to
assign the respective permissions through the user login in a
particular project;
3) Automatic link to human resources database, to
update the contact list;
4) Existence of templates in repository;
5) Possibility, through Gantt Chart, to compare the
planned with the current state of the program and projects;
6) Automatic check of each task, to make sure that is
only possible to move to next phase of program and project life
cycle if the previous phase's set of tasks is complete;
7) Automatically index documents in the repository in
alphabetical order (documents can be referenced by date
yearmonthday at the beginning of the file name, for example
yyyymmdd_documentname_version, or just by the name,
DocumentName_Version);
8) Automatically save the previous versions of the
documents and the successive updates;
9) Filter for document search (by date, by name);
10) Put contacts alphabetically;
11) Integration with institutional email;
12) Generate warnings for when more than one user
wants to edit at the same time;
13) View and edit documents in collaboration;
14) Multi-room chat tool and register of conversations;
15) Forum with the possibility to attach files;
16) Manage multiple projects or programs;
17) Possibility to select publications/tasks/documents
in order to follow them;
18) Notifications of updates of user-marked
publications, events, deadlines, meetings, whether by email or
on the desktop with a written and audible warning;
19) Possibility to mention in order to draw the
attention of other users to a particular publication;
20) Block subsequent phases/tasks if the previous
phases/tasks are not completed;
21) Organize/Assign tasks according to the program
and project life cycle;
22) Reminder to finish the term of tasks;
23) Event reminder marked in calendar;
24) Receive automatically generated e-mail by the
meeting attendees;
25) Organize documents according to the life cycle
phases of the project/program;
26) Integration with the cloud, such as Google Drive
or Dropbox;
27) Forum organized by themes in different folders;
28) Colored labels to distinguish degree of importance;
29) Ease of learning and use of the tool;
30) Simple and intuitive interface;
31) Web tool;
32) Wiki Pages;
33) Timesheets (record of time spent on each task, per
user, relating it to the number of hours paid) with possibility of
export;
34) Record all recent updates at the Program level, so
that each user has access to them;
35) Compliance with the flowcharts of the different
processes, such as:
i. Validation of Deliverables Process
ii. Patent Request Process
iii. Scope Change (Deliverables) and Time
Request Process
iv. UMinho Acquisition Process
v. UMinho Contracting Process
vi. Request changes to the Procurement and
Contracting Plan UMinho Process
D. Access Permissions
The Innovative Car HMI adopted the organization chart
defined in Fig. 1, so it is imperative that the application that
supports its management is able to distinguish the different
organization structures involved and their respective
responsibilities. For this, it is fundamental that permissions be
defined according to the responsibilities of each organization
structure, as presented in Table III.
TABLE III: PERMISSIONS OF EACH ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE
Organization Permissions
Guidance and
Supervision
Council (GSC)
Schedule meetings (each member have a reminder for the
annual meeting of the GSC), publish minutes of meeting
resulting from decision making, edit the overall work plan
and task assignment, access to all tasks, comment about
any subject under discussion and have a decision-making
action on any task.
Steering
Committee
Monitor the development of all tasks throughout the
program cycle, get in touch with any of the members
responsible for performing a task, preview the tasks
results, the documents submitted in each task, the topics
developed and discussed and control the presence and the
involvement of each member, access to the New Ideas
Registry and all the Program Management documentation.
Innovation
Management
Team
Calendar, schedule meetings, schedule workshops for the
entire Program Team, possibility of submitting the minutes
of meetings, access to the Program Management Register -
New Ideas Registration and Program Plan - Innovative
Features, Invention Reports, Patent Applications and
Innovation Idea Papers.
Program
Coordination
Access any functionality of the tool, any document,
participate in any event, comment on any publication,
convene and participate in meetings, control times,
compliance with deadlines and fiscal obligations, monitor
changes, validate and approve reports, requests, organizing
all documentation involved, making information available
at any stage of the Program and each Project.
Program
Directors
Approval of change requests that have impact on the
Investment Agreement. Program Director by Bosch must
be allowed to call the GSC and the Steering Committee.
Program
Managers
Access to Project Plans and Project Acquisition and
Contracting Plans.
PgPMO Team Access any document in the repository.
Project Team Total permission to all the tool functionalities, except to
the Program Management directory.
Project
Responsible
and Co-
responsible
Each UMinho researcher is subject to the restriction of
only being able to be associated with at most three projects
(be responsible for one project and co-responsible of two
or co-responsible of three projects). These are not allowed
to access the program's management directory, but have
access to everything about the project.
It is possible to conclude that all tasks can be defined in a
group/organ or individual level. In addition, it can be said that
the high number of restrictions on the access permissions to
certain functionalities of the tool is one of the main reasons why
there are no software applications available in the market that
can fully satisfy the needs of this kind of programs.
E. Mandatory Processes
It is extremely important that PM IT tool ensures that the
sequential phases defined for the program and projects life cycle
are accomplish, giving attention to the inputs and outputs
defined for each one. Each phase can only begin if the list of
inputs is completed and can only be said as completed, when
fulfilling the respective objectives that result in the outputs. For
this to be possible, the tool must have activities previously
defined by each phase of the cycle, each one having objectives
that can only be fulfilled by the competent organizational
structure. Once completed, each one will appear with a check
and only then it will be possible to advance in the program's life
cycle.
Note that there are project activities dependent on the
completion of program activities. It is very important that the
development of the project keeps up with the program and that,
during the program and PM cycle, the responsibilities are
fulfilled by the organizational structure that have been
designated to do it. Our tool will have to fulfill strictly several
processes in addition to the six referred in 35th non-functional
requirement identified.
Documentary tools to support the management of the
program must be prepared, adjusted and approved by all the
bodies previously designated for this purpose. Thus, these
documentary tools must have access and submissions
restrictions.
V. CONCLUSIONS
The main contribution of this research is focused on the
proposed IT tool functionalities and requirements to support the
management of university-industry R&D collaborations. This
study is based on case study, named Innovative Car HMI.
Innovative Car HMI is a collaborative R&D program between
University of Minho and Bosch Car Multimedia. Project
Management is highly dependent on context [11], [12] and there
is a need to develop a project management IT tool the respond
the specific needs of this typology of programs/projects.
The paper presents some project management software tools
that could have the potential to support the governance model
and successfully manage university-industry R&D
collaborations. The main functionalities of these tools were
presented and based on their characteristics, using benchmarking
it helped in the identification of a set of functionalities that are
essential to support the management of a programs and projects
under this specific context.
An association was made between the elements of the set of
essential functionalities and some of the expected benefits that
will not be fulfilled if the software tool for the management of
university-industry collaborations does not support each
functionality (Table II). Then, are presented the expected
benefits that are obtained from the use of the software tool for
the management of these programs/projects, based on the case
study - Innovative Car HMI, which are, for example:
guarantee/facilitate that each organ member of the Program does
what is defined for him to do; ensure that each program and
project management phase meets its flow chart (sequence of
activities); monitor and control the completion of each phase of
the cycle and its outputs; periodic and continuous preparation of
program future forecast, etc.
All the requirements (functional and non-functional) are
presented attending the needs of the client, the user and the future
development of the software tool. It is imperative that the access
permissions to the different functionalities of the software tool
results in the distinction of the different organs member involved
in the management of the program and of each project,
associating each one to their respective responsibilities.
Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new tool with the
requirements and functionalities collected in this study,
providing the expected benefits and being able to support in
practice the operationalization of the Governance Model of a
R&D program under university-industry collaboration.
In the future, it is expected to model all these requirements
and, after that, to proceed to the actual development of the IT
project management tool.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This research is sponsored by the Portugal Incentive System
for Research and Technological Development. Project in co-
promotion nº 002814/2015 (iFACTORY 2015-2018) and by the
FCT (SFRH/BPD/111033/2015).
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... Any project is characterized by an intertwined context, which accounts for various disciplines, in turn demanding interdisciplinary cooperation [4]. Identifying these functional links is thus a crucial step for effective governance, and for designing IT tools capable of responding to specific project needs [42], and achieving strategic objectives [43]. IT tools for governance have been recognized to enhance efficiency, legitimacy, and accountability [44]. ...
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