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GPC History

Since 1987, the Virtual Design Team (VDT) Research Program at Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) has been developing theory, methodology and tools to optimize the design of project organizations. The projects studied have been characterized by fast-track, product development projects whose participants have congruent goals, culture, norms and technological competence levels. VDT theory, methodology and tools have been widely disseminated in construction, aerospace, consumer and high-tech product development sectors.

An extensible version of the existing VDT simulation system, called “SimVision-Research”*, has served as a platform for GPC work on the design of more effective global project organizations.

Also at Stanford University, a series of conferences, symposia and visiting scholars programs focused on global growth and change has been held since 1998 as a part of Knexus Research Program at the Institute for International Studies (IIS). This forum provided opportunities to identify the most promising scholars worldwide in a variety of disciplines related to global change projects. In the process, a unique network of expertise was built with a team of core investigators from social and cognitive sciences. As part of the same Program, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University agreed to host seminars attended by leading social scientists worldwide to address the ways in which institutions impact the success of global projects.

These Stanford initiatives provided initial points of departure for launching a research collaboratory to advance the state of the art for managing global projects by interlinking a group of multi-disciplined academic research centers, government agencies and corporate collaborators.

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* SimVision, software based on VDT, was commercialized in 1997.