Complex socio-technical work systems frequently involve large numbers of decision makers, often distributed geographically with some mobile, where none have complete knowledge or control over all the work to be performed. In such organizations, that normally operate in very dynamic and unpredictable environments, often with adversaries and/or adverse conditions, collaboration is a necessity. Innovative, effective technologies and procedures are needed to help facilitate agile distributed work and achieve maximum system performance. Effective decision support and data exchange paths and procedures are needed, but so too are effective communication modalities, so that optimal communication speed, accuracy, and completeness can be achieved.
CWS methods include conceptual modeling, literature reviews, ethnographic observation, surveys & interviews, cognitive task analysis, technology analysis, story boarding & prototyping, user interface design, software engineering, risk analysis, usability evaluation, training effectiveness evaluation, and lab & field experiments. We continuously seek to refine the methods and technologies we utilize, and contribute to relevant professional communities of practice. Research projects are guided by the Heilmeier Catechism, and we also recognize the value of peer reviews for constructive criticism and potential new research questions.