Information Management in the Concurrent Design Process
Former achievements for integrated information management have concentrated on interoperability of applications like e.g. CAD, structural analysis or facility management, based on product models introducing additional application independent model layers (core models). In the last years it has become clear, that besides interoperability of autonomous applications, the concurrent processes of model instantiation and evolution have to be modeled, including the relationship to available project resources, persons, legal requirements and communication infrastructure. This paper discusses some basic concepts for an emerging methodology relating the fields of product modeling, project management and workflow systems by elaborating the concept of a process model, which gives a decomposition of the project goals into executable activities. Integrated information management systems should be related to process models to detect pending activities, deadlocks and alternatives of execution. According to the heterogeneous nature of project communication processes, a method for dynamic classification of ad-hoc activities is suggested, that complements predefined highlevel process definitions. In a brief outline of the system architecture, we show how sophisticated information management systems can be broadly made available by using conventional Internet technologies.