Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/Input-Process-Output Model and Distributed Group Work
Aggregation and synergy may be the keys to successful groups, and many products are doing more to improve these aspects of distributed teams. Kraut discusses the ideas of group work being more successful than individual work in which I agree. Having worked as both a team member and on my own I realize that I, myself, seem to work better in a team for the same reasons mentioned in this study. In a collocated group, I am able to learn from other team members, gain support, ideate early on in the design process and get feedback. This should be the same for distributed teams, after all, there are many tools out there that claim to solve the issues of being distributed and promote communication among a group. As a member of a distributed team, I tried many different tools to help bridge the gaps we faced by being far apart from each other, but none of them could solve the actual issues faced by being separated.
There are a many web applications like Basecamp, Adobe CC, OneNote and more that try to improve collaboration and communication which are important for supporting group members, motivating, and establishing relationships; many of them even try to incorporate video options to view each other. These are great compared to the alternative of a phone call, but they still don't solve the issues. In-office relationships are important for successful group work and its nearly impossible to form these online, there are always connection issues or miscommunication. Without meeting members in person its hard to understand their personalities, and usually, when we meet online we are meeting because we have something specific to discuss so we lose that in-office chatting which is important for getting to understand each other. This is vital in ensuring synergy among a group, members will understand each other better and learn how to communicate effectively with each other. These online apps for distributed teams make it difficult to choose the right personnel, don't solve coordination issues, and make it difficult for members to motivate each other without constant interaction.