Abstract: Can models of collaboration serve as foundations for development of collaborative technologies in much the same way that engineers use models when developing complex systems? We explore this issue by investigating how eight approaches to understanding or modeling collaboration could be used to improve technologies that support processes used in a large aerospace program. Some modeling approaches are ostensive, defining how collaboration should be achieved or how the technology should be used. These approaches provide ways of documenting, analyzing, simulating, and automating the process. Other approaches are performative, describing actual collaboration behavior and actual technology use. Performative approaches reveal the variability in collaboration and deviations from the intended process. Technologies can benefit from and facilitate both types of modeling approaches by recording collaborative events for later analysis. We conclude by considering ways that modeling collaboration could contribute to requirements analysis, new collaboration capabilities, adoption, and maximizing benefit from technologies.
Key words and phrases: collaboration , coordination theory , modeling , social network models , temporal models , workflow