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Temporal Coordination

Temporal coordination is an important part of teamwork. Temporal coordination has three aspects: 1) the correct sequencing of joint action, 2) the correct timing, and 3) the adaptation of dynamic effects as variables in the teams’ context, which may change dynamically in terms of their own state. Challenges of temporal coordination include errors in timing and problems of synchronization. These errors are founded in an inadequate task state awareness (TSA).

In the proposed project, we will particularly focus on the temporal coordination of spatially dispersed production teams. As a countermeasure to impediments to temporal coordination, teams use temporal coordination activities to define the rhythms, by which group members synchronize their activities, e.g. by synchronization and allocation of resources by means of temporal coordination artifacts. Additionally, temporal coordination is supported by scripted coordination or by side-by-side work as team members can share a visual context. As spatially dispersed teamwork is characterized by the exclusion of side-by-side work, we investigate possible substitutes that generate an awareness of the team’s task state.

In the proposed project, we investigate the impact of a coordination artifact that builds on augmented reality (AR). The central research question is: Can AR technologies support temporal aspects of scripted coordination by increasing the task state awareness (TSA) of spatially dispersed teams in a production context, in combination with visual attention guidance including the individual task?

By using a 2 x 2 experimental design (factor 1: 2D versus 3D superimposition; factor 2: static versus dynamic superimposition) with 110 two-person teams (220 subjects in total), each performing an individual task and a team task, we propose a main effect of the AR superimpositions of task states on temporal team coordination. Additionally, we wish to investigate the effects of 2D versus 3D static and dynamic superimposition.
In H1, we assume that groups with AR superimposition of team task state will coordinate the team task in a timelier manner than the control group. In H2, we propose that groups with 3D superimpositions of process states of the team task will coordinate the team task in a timelier manner than the groups with 2D superimposition. Finally, the groups with superimpositions of dynamic information of process states will perform better in their individual task, as they require fewer attentional resources while waiting for their “entry” into the team task. Four work packages are defined to conduct the study with 220 persons. The results will contribute to a better understanding of the temporal coordination needs of spatially dispersed teams and provide work psychology-related and HCI-related guidelines for the development of AR-based coordination artifacts based on the combination of interdisciplinary research relevant for future use in “Industrie 4.0”.