Is IT killing user experience? #usability


Maria Brindlmayer
 

Hi,

 

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:

-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;

-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;

-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.

 

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.

 

Has anyone else seen similar examples?

What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?

 

Maria

Maria Brindlmayer

202-365-2440


Mark Tilbury
 

I find this is fairly common - just look how many companies have SharePoint due to IT decisions. I have recently finished a project running proof of concepts for 'social / open' business tools with a global organisation. The platform was selected before we had completed any user requirement gathering so in one use case we ended up with a group who's main tool to collaborate was an iPad being forced to halt many of their initiatives because the technology chosen didn't support this via an iPad.
 
Mark Tilbury
www.digitaldivide.posterous.com

From: Maria Brindlmayer
To: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Saturday, 12 January 2013, 14:31
Subject: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?
 
Hi,
 
I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:
-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;
-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;
-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.
 
Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.
 
Has anyone else seen similar examples?
What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?
 
Maria
Maria Brindlmayer
202-365-2440


Andrew Gent <ajgent@...>
 

Maria,

Wow. I could feel the urge to get on a soapbox and start ranting rise up higher and higher as I read your message. Seen it? Yes! Frequently! The tendency to buy a hammer and go looking for nails is rampant in IT organizations. Especially within large corporations. Worse yet, I have seen -- as part of standardization -- enforcing a single configuration on all organizations.

Perhaps the funniest case, years ago, is when the company I was in insisted on getting rid of all Macintoshes and using only Windows PCs, claiming Macs were too expensive to maintain. (Although most Mac users maintained their own systems and never called IT.) As a result, although we had full time graphic artists in the company, we had to outsource graphics for our manuals since we weren't capable of running the necessary software in house.

Andrew Gent
VoltDB, Inc.


From: Maria Brindlmayer To: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:31 AM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

 
Hi,
 
I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:
-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;
-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;
-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.
 
Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.
 
Has anyone else seen similar examples?
What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?
 
Maria
Maria Brindlmayer
202-365-2440



Tom Short <tman9999@...>
 

Hi Maria - interesting thread. I had a related realization back when I was working as a consultant for global IT market research company, selling advisory services (an adjunct to their main line of business, which was annual market research subscriptions) to various IT vendors as well as IT buyers. After a few conversations with CIOs as well as various sell-side providers of IT, I came to the following conclusion:

The enterprise IT market is driven via the interaction of three main constituents:
1. IT vendors, who create stuff aimed at market 'whitespace' in the enterprise IT landscape
2. IT buyers, who collect and prioritize various business needs from the enterprise, and then consult market research and the vendors to develop a purchase recommendation; all within the confines of what will work best with the existing IT organization and infrastructure
3. IT market research firms, who work closely with the vendors to obtain the most up-to-date information on emerging products and enhancements to existing ones, as well as identifying buyer trends in the enterprise IT marketplace.

The above three all are in a constant swirl of activity that drives billions of dollars of purchasing activity over the course of the year.

Notice anything missing?? The end-users. Who represents the interests of the end-users, who are forced to adopt and adapt to the infrastructure decisions that are made, in many cases, without their interests being truly represented.

OK, maybe all of this is a bit cynical, and maybe the world has changed to become more attentive to, and symapathetic to, the needs and wants of the enterprise IT end user.

Anyone have any other perspectives on this?

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, "Maria Brindlmayer" wrote:

Hi,



I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example
where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user
experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time -
examples include:

- Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an
unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;

- Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user
needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT
software suite for other reasons;

- Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better
meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly "out-of-the-box"
solutions to save development and upgrade costs.



Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen
this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation
of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what
the users want. Or the applications don't get used because they are not user
friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously
IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in
the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.



Has anyone else seen similar examples?

What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good
user experience in this kind of IT environment?



Maria

Maria Brindlmayer

202-365-2440


Dave Simmons
 

Hi, Maria,

I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein!  Our CIO has taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.

Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud computing with "similar" products).  

As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on developing "architectures" for document management software with the EA group.  In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as follows:  Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content (to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent storage).

There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a difference between "file" management and "document" management (DM has workflow, version checking, security levels, etc.).  My point is that the EA group sees files as documents, and documents as files and the content is subordinated to the software that drives it.  

Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly and with no advance notice.  What was discovered is that this substituted software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures.  For an organization that maintains government contracts with several approval streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting software.  My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the business of the organization, not the software industry), to understand critical features needed when selecting software.  As it stands, I understand that we are returning to Adobe.  

So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may have a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of the context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.  

Dave

Dave Simmons


On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer <mbrindlmay001@...> wrote:
 

Hi,

 

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:

-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;

-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;

-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.

 

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.

 

Has anyone else seen similar examples?

What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?

 

Maria

Maria Brindlmayer

202-365-2440



Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Maria, Dave and all,

So I have to throw out the challenge if some of the choices being made are detrimental to the user experience:

(a) why are we blaming IT, rather than users for accepting the changes or top management for rewarding this behaviour?

(b) is it better to treat the symptom (working around problems caused by IT standardisation and cost savings) or the cause (calling out and asking for the non-holistic decision making process to be fixed)?

(c) in any case, how can we be so sure that the net position of the company *isn't* improved in net terms when offsetting the lower user productivity against the costs saved?

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 13/01/2013 7:01 AM, Dave Simmons wrote:
Hi, Maria,

I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein! Our CIO has
taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable
interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable
software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions
that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on
conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.

Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is
less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per
seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud
computing with "similar" products).

As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on
developing "architectures" for document management software with the EA
group. In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as follows:
Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content
(to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent storage).

There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a difference
between "file" management and "document" management (DM has workflow,
version checking, security levels, etc.). My point is that the EA group
sees files as documents, and documents as files and the content is
subordinated to the software that drives it.

Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to
another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly and
with no advance notice. What was discovered is that this substituted
software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures. For an
organization that maintains government contracts with several approval
streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting software.
My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the
business of the organization, not the software industry), to understand
critical features needed when selecting software. As it stands, I
understand that we are returning to Adobe.

So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may have
a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of the
context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be
reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of
service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.

Dave

Dave Simmons


On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer
<mbrindlmay001@gmail.com <mailto:mbrindlmay001@gmail.com>> wrote:

__

Hi,____

__ __

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another
example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user
needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was
not the first time - examples include:____

__-__Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an
unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their
needs;____

__-__Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the
user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a
certain IT software suite for other reasons;____

__-__Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better
meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly
out-of-the-box solutions to save development and upgrade costs.____

__ __

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I
have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager
and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting
blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications
dont get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed
for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that
defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the
delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.____

__ __

Has anyone else seen similar examples?____

What options and solutions have you found for successfully
delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?____

__ __

Maria____

Maria Brindlmayer____

202-365-2440 <tel:202-365-2440>____



Sameer Bhide
 

Iam with Stephen. Why blame IT ? Iam not disagreeing with what  Maria, Dave and others have said in this thread. It is very much valid. 
However CFOs and business leaders will continue to put pressure on IT to standardize, cut costs and be efficient. That is a fact which is not going to change.

So, what can we KM practitioners do about it? Well, we continue to drive "usability" "culture" "collaboration" etc aspects within organizations (which we are all about) and continue to work with IT to deliver our solutions in this new cloud, social and Big Data world. No Silver Bullet but persistent collaboration and push for user centricity and collaboration.

Regards

Sameer Bhide




From: Stephen Bounds
To: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

Hi Maria, Dave and all,

So I have to throw out the challenge – if some of the choices being made
are detrimental to the user experience:

(a) why are we blaming IT, rather than users for accepting the changes
or top management for rewarding this behaviour?

(b) is it better to treat the symptom (working around problems caused by
IT standardisation and cost savings) or the cause (calling out and
asking for the non-holistic decision making process to be fixed)?

(c) in any case, how can we be so sure that the net position of the
company *isn't* improved in net terms when offsetting the lower user
productivity against the costs saved?

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 13/01/2013 7:01 AM, Dave Simmons wrote:
> Hi, Maria,
>
> I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein!  Our CIO has
> taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable
> interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable
> software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions
> that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on
> conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.
>
> Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is
> less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per
> seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud
> computing with "similar" products).
>
> As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on
> developing "architectures" for document management software with the EA
> group.  In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as follows:
>  Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content
> (to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent storage).
>
> There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a difference
> between "file" management and "document" management (DM has workflow,
> version checking, security levels, etc.).  My point is that the EA group
> sees files as documents, and documents as files and the content is
> subordinated to the software that drives it.
>
> Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to
> another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly and
> with no advance notice.  What was discovered is that this substituted
> software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures.  For an
> organization that maintains government contracts with several approval
> streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting software.
>  My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the
> business of the organization, not the software industry), to understand
> critical features needed when selecting software.  As it stands, I
> understand that we are returning to Adobe.
>
> So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may have
> a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of the
> context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be
> reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of
> service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.
>
> Dave
>
> Dave Simmons
>
>
> On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer
> <mbrindlmay001@... mbrindlmay001@...>> wrote:
>
>    __
>
>    Hi,____
>
>    __ __
>
>    I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another
>    example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user
>    needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was
>    not the first time - examples include:____
>
>    __-__Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an
>    unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their
>    needs;____
>
>    __-__Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the
>    user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a
>    certain IT software suite for other reasons;____
>
>    __-__Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better
>    meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly
>    “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.____
>
>    __ __
>
>    Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I
>    have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager
>    and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting
>    blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications
>    don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed
>    for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that
>    defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the
>    delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.____
>
>    __ __
>
>    Has anyone else seen similar examples?____
>
>    What options and solutions have you found for successfully
>    delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?____
>
>    __ __
>
>    Maria____
>
>    Maria Brindlmayer____
>
>    202-365-2440 ____
>
>
>


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Andre Galitsky <andregalitsky@...>
 

I agree with Sameer. Having worked in various IT architecture roles over the years, it seems to me to be the common case of "you can't have your cake and eat it too":

- Many organizations see I.T. as an overhead cost-driver which needs to be controlled and reduced
- C-level executives are putting pressure on I.T. shops to reduce overall costs which leads to reduction in offerings and consolidation on a few core apps
- End-users in general and KM initiatives in particular end up taking a hit due to reduced I.T. offerings and support.


The downward pressure on IT budgets is likely to continue or even increase over time; therefore it will be our job as KM professionals to figure out creative ways to make the most of whatever technologies are available in our organization.

Andre

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, Sameer Bhide wrote:

Iam with Stephen. Why blame IT ? Iam not disagreeing with what  Maria, Dave and others have said in this thread. It is very much valid. 
However CFOs and business leaders will continue to put pressure on IT to standardize, cut costs and be efficient. That is a fact which is not going to change.


So, what can we KM practitioners do about it? Well, we continue to drive "usability" "culture" "collaboration" etc aspects within organizations (which we are all about) and continue to work with IT to deliver our solutions in this new cloud, social and Big Data world. No Silver Bullet but persistent collaboration and push for user centricity and collaboration.


Regards


Sameer Bhide





________________________________
From: Stephen Bounds
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2013 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

Hi Maria, Dave and all,

So I have to throw out the challenge â€" if some of the choices being made
are detrimental to the user experience:

(a) why are we blaming IT, rather than users for accepting the changes
or top management for rewarding this behaviour?

(b) is it better to treat the symptom (working around problems caused by
IT standardisation and cost savings) or the cause (calling out and
asking for the non-holistic decision making process to be fixed)?

(c) in any case, how can we be so sure that the net position of the
company *isn't* improved in net terms when offsetting the lower user
productivity against the costs saved?

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 13/01/2013 7:01 AM, Dave Simmons wrote:
Hi, Maria,

I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein!  Our CIO has
taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable
interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable
software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions
that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on
conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.

Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is
less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per
seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud
computing with "similar" products).

As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on
developing "architectures" for document management software with the EA
group.  In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as follows:
  Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content
(to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent storage).

There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a difference
between "file" management and "document" management (DM has workflow,
version checking, security levels, etc.).  My point is that the EA group
sees files as documents, and documents as files and the content is
subordinated to the software that drives it.

Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to
another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly and
with no advance notice.  What was discovered is that this substituted
software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures.  For an
organization that maintains government contracts with several approval
streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting software.
  My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the
business of the organization, not the software industry), to understand
critical features needed when selecting software.  As it stands, I
understand that we are returning to Adobe.

So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may have
a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of the
context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be
reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of
service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.

Dave

Dave Simmons


On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer
wrote:
    __

    Hi,____

    __ __

    I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another
    example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user
    needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was
    not the first time - examples include:____

    __-__Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an
    unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their
    needs;____

    __-__Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the
    user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a
    certain IT software suite for other reasons;____

    __-__Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better
    meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly
    “out-of-the-box� solutions to save development and upgrade costs.____

    __ __

    Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I
    have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager
    and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting
    blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications
    don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed
    for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that
    defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the
    delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.____

    __ __

    Has anyone else seen similar examples?____

    What options and solutions have you found for successfully
    delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?____

    __ __

    Maria____

    Maria Brindlmayer____

    202-365-2440 ____



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links



    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


Jeff Stemke <jstemke@...>
 

Many of the replies to this question describe an IT department that is out of touch with its customers. IT is a service function; the business and business users are the true customers. Unfortunately, I have no doubt that many IT departments don't share this point of view.

In my experience, the business provides funding for IT. They may not recognize the power this gives them. Certainly they have a say on the functionality they need for the business processes. Ease of use is a business requirement. Customer satisfaction with operation and performance is a metric of success.

IT does have a responsibility to provide a coherent set of tools to meet business needs. Enterprise architecture is actually a good thing. It is not prudent to open the servers to any software product that a customer recommends. You mention difficulty with a vendors tool that enforce a broad taxonomy that made it difficult for users to find the information they need. There is another problem that arises when users are offered a variety of products with overlapping capabilities: the need to learn how to use multiple tools. This can create similar barriers to communication and collaboration.

One suggestion is to establish a business advisory board for IT. IT needs to learn what the business and its users need to do. Dialog is a better way to achieve success. Neither partner will succeed on their own.


Jeff Stemke


Andrew Gent <ajgent@...>
 

At the last company I was at, there were "Business architects" for each business division, whose job it was to provide business input to IT. Who named the business architects? IT, from their own ranks.

It was like dealing with the soviet union...

Mind you, if you are blaming anyone, it was the CEO who gave the IT director blanket control in the name of "cost control"  who was to blame. But he gets the golden parachute and we get to deal with the consequences -- and cover up the mess to not let Wall St. see our dirty laundry.

I am not blaming IT.  They are doing what they were told to do. Their way of doing that is to put pressure back onto the business groups to "make do" with what they choose. It is a long chain of expedient but narrow-minded decisions.

Did I say I felt to urge to get on a soapbox? Oops! Seems like I failed to resist the urge...

--Andrew


From: Jeff Stemke To: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 5:16 PM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Is IT killing user experience?

 
Many of the replies to this question describe an IT department that is out of touch with its customers. IT is a service function; the business and business users are the true customers. Unfortunately, I have no doubt that many IT departments don't share this point of view.

In my experience, the business provides funding for IT. They may not recognize the power this gives them. Certainly they have a say on the functionality they need for the business processes. Ease of use is a business requirement. Customer satisfaction with operation and performance is a metric of success.

IT does have a responsibility to provide a coherent set of tools to meet business needs. Enterprise architecture is actually a good thing. It is not prudent to open the servers to any software product that a customer recommends. You mention difficulty with a vendors tool that enforce a broad taxonomy that made it difficult for users to find the information they need. There is another problem that arises when users are offered a variety of products with overlapping capabilities: the need to learn how to use multiple tools. This can create similar barriers to communication and collaboration.

One suggestion is to establish a business advisory board for IT. IT needs to learn what the business and its users need to do. Dialog is a better way to achieve success. Neither partner will succeed on their own.


Jeff Stemke




stem1949 <jstemke@...>
 

Andrew:

IT isn't the only discipline that tends to speak it's own language, but it is one that many of us must deal with. In reality, since business doesn't speak "IT", they tend to let technology decisions rest with the "experts". It doesn't have to be this way.

IT does need business architects who learn about and understand the business environment, information needs and work processes. It is critical that these architects actively talk to their customers to learn the above.

We know that IT systems can provide substantial value in productivity, collaboration and innovation. Most business users realize this, but need to be more demonstrative about their needs and how existing systems are working. To be clear, the advisory board I suggested is composed of business people, not IT staff.

Familiarity with IT and expectations for easy-to-uses tools is becoming a lot more common as we use many apps as part of our non-working life. Getting a few of these "super users" collaborating with other business leaders on the advisory board might be an interesting way to begin shaping the direction of IT (it will take time) as well as giving recognition to those who have a passion about how technology is making a difference in their own lives.

--Jeff

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Gent wrote:

At the last company I was at, there were "Business architects" for each business division, whose job it was to provide business input to IT. Who named the business architects? IT, from their own ranks.

It was like dealing with the soviet union...

Mind you, if you are blaming anyone, it was the CEO who gave the IT director blanket control in the name of "cost control"  who was to blame. But he gets the golden parachute and we get to deal with the consequences -- and cover up the mess to not let Wall St. see our dirty laundry.

I am not blaming IT.  They are doing what they were told to do. Their way of doing that is to put pressure back onto the business groups to "make do" with what they choose. It is a long chain of expedient but narrow-minded decisions.

Did I say I felt to urge to get on a soapbox? Oops! Seems like I failed to resist the urge...

--Andrew



________________________________
From: Jeff Stemke
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 5:16 PM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Is IT killing user experience?


 
Many of the replies to this question describe an IT department that is out of touch with its customers. IT is a service function; the business and business users are the true customers. Unfortunately, I have no doubt that many IT departments don't share this point of view.


In my experience, the business provides funding for IT. They may not recognize the power this gives them. Certainly they have a say on the functionality they need for the business processes. Ease of use is a business requirement. Customer satisfaction with operation and performance is a metric of success.


IT does have a responsibility to provide a coherent set of tools to meet business needs. Enterprise architecture is actually a good thing. It is not prudent to open the servers to any software product that a customer recommends. You mention difficulty with a vendors tool that enforce a broad taxonomy that made it difficult for users to find the information they need. There is another problem that arises when users are offered a variety of products with overlapping capabilities: the need to learn how to use multiple tools. This can create similar barriers to communication and collaboration.


One suggestion is to establish a business advisory board for IT. IT needs to learn what the business and its users need to do. Dialog is a better way to achieve success. Neither partner will succeed on their own.




Jeff Stemke


jstemke@...



Andrew Gent <ajgent@...>
 

Hi Jeff,

With all respect, I disagree with several of your points. For example, I speak "IT". But that doesn't help work around the prevalent assumption that global standardization is the only path to cost-cutting. Or that unmodified COTS software is by definition usable in a business environment, etc.

>>Familiarity with IT and expectations for easy-to-uses tools is becoming a lot more common as we use many apps as part of our non-working life

This, I think, is the saddest part. It may be true, but it likely too late. I think one of the "dirty little secrets" about both KM and IT is that many in our audience simply abandon the "solutions" we provide as unproductive and instead turn to using what they know works: Facebook, Google, Twitter, and external groupware (Yahoo groups, Google+, etc.). Once this happens, it is hard to get them back "inside" the firewall. (Unless, of course, you apply still more IT mandates by closing down external access...) 

--Andrew


From: stem1949
To: sikmleaders@...
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2013 8:46 PM
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Is IT killing user experience?

 
Andrew:

IT isn't the only discipline that tends to speak it's own language, but it is one that many of us must deal with. In reality, since business doesn't speak "IT", they tend to let technology decisions rest with the "experts". It doesn't have to be this way.

IT does need business architects who learn about and understand the business environment, information needs and work processes. It is critical that these architects actively talk to their customers to learn the above.

We know that IT systems can provide substantial value in productivity, collaboration and innovation. Most business users realize this, but need to be more demonstrative about their needs and how existing systems are working. To be clear, the advisory board I suggested is composed of business people, not IT staff.

Familiarity with IT and expectations for easy-to-uses tools is becoming a lot more common as we use many apps as part of our non-working life. Getting a few of these "super users" collaborating with other business leaders on the advisory board might be an interesting way to begin shaping the direction of IT (it will take time) as well as giving recognition to those who have a passion about how technology is making a difference in their own lives.

--Jeff


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Maria –

 

The IT “as control” vs. IT “as service” debate has been ongoing as long as I have been employed.  I won’t say how long that has been, but when I learned to program, Fortran IV was seen as a significant advance over Fortran II!  I and probably anyone else who has been around for a while can give you any number of examples where IT shops make decisions that adversely affect how people work and the business itself.  Nothing new here.  The conflict persists partially because IT can control the digital environment and “one size fits all” makes their job a lot  easier.  However, working in a secure research environment, I also recognize the need to be able to react very quickly to network breaches which is impossible if a network architecture and applications are all over the map.  This issue is inherent in the underlying management regime (organizational structure) in which IT operates.  And to function effectively, a degree of standardization and structure is essential in any organization.  A high degree of structure also works well (in fact is necessary) when one is managing information; ask any librarian.  

 

The conflict is exacerbated by KM because organizational structure is fundamentally different from the management regimes in which KM operates (negotiated agreement and responsible autonomy).  In the latter, flexibility, diversity, creativity, synergy, participation, and voluntarism are essential attributes.  It isn’t hard to see the fundamental conflict between the regimes.  The organizational challenge is to recognize that most, if not all, organizations must operate across all four regimes (including authoritative hierarchy) and that pro-active processes are needed to move knowledge across the regimes (enter KM).  The metaphor that I use is that knowledge must be pumped uphill from creation to use but that authority naturally flows downhill from decision to action.  I’ve just published a lengthy paper on this (and other aspect of knowledge services).  It is available for open sharing, but hasn’t been posted yet (translation: explicit knowledge has been transformed into authoritative knowledge and it is now being integrated into the organizational structure).

 

Send me your e-mail address if you would like a copy.

 

Al Simard

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Maria Brindlmayer
Sent: January-12-13 9:32 AM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

 

 

Hi,

 

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:

-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;

-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;

-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.

 

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.

 

Has anyone else seen similar examples?

What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?

 

Maria

Maria Brindlmayer

202-365-2440


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Dave –

 

In fact, file, document, records, content, and information management are all first-generation precursors to KM.  Their task is to make explicit knowledge available to all who need it.  They do little for 2nd and 3rd generation KM (motivating sharing, and enabling collaboration).  In my view your reference to enterprise architecture parallels the experience of KM.  There are two approaches in both domains which I refer to as structured (IT, systems) and unstructured (attitudes, relationships, culture, business).  The two approaches in both disciplines see themselves as THE solution and don’t interact with (or understand) the other approach.  Truth be told, both approaches are essential to organizational success.  The problem is that no one has been able to integrate them yet. 

 

That’s my “quest” in attempting to develop a knowledge services reference architecture.  

 

Al Simard

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Dave Simmons
Sent: January-12-13 3:02 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

 

 

Hi, Maria,

 

I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein!  Our CIO has taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.

 

Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud computing with "similar" products).  

 

As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on developing "architectures" for document management software with the EA group.  In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as follows:  Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content (to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent storage).

 

There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a difference between "file" management and "document" management (DM has workflow, version checking, security levels, etc.).  My point is that the EA group sees files as documents, and documents as files and the content is subordinated to the software that drives it.  

 

Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly and with no advance notice.  What was discovered is that this substituted software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures.  For an organization that maintains government contracts with several approval streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting software.  My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the business of the organization, not the software industry), to understand critical features needed when selecting software.  As it stands, I understand that we are returning to Adobe.  

 

So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may have a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of the context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.  

 

Dave


Dave Simmons

 

On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer <mbrindlmay001@...> wrote:

 

Hi,

 

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this was not the first time - examples include:

-          Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet their needs;

-          Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a certain IT software suite for other reasons;

-          Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly “out-of-the-box” solutions to save development and upgrade costs.

 

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications don’t get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets blamed for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all that defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an impact.

 

Has anyone else seen similar examples?

What options and solutions have you found for successfully delivering good user experience in this kind of IT environment?

 

Maria

Maria Brindlmayer

202-365-2440

 


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Stephen -

a) When IT talks to business leaders, they speak the language of
business (e.g., cost reduction and standardization). The long-term
values of diversity, creativity, and synergy are difficult to quantify
and, consequently, ignored in western Cartesian management cultures (as
opposed to eastern, holistic cultures). Further, they apply primarily
to long-term sustainability rather than short-term competitiveness. And
in any argument between the quarterly report and a 5-year strategy, we
all know what wins.

b) It is far better to treat the underlying cause (see my earlier
post).

c) We need to measure and balance the productivity of knowledge work
AND the cost saving brought about by enterprise-level standardization.

-----Original Message-----
From: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Stephen Bounds
Sent: January-12-13 4:56 PM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

Hi Maria, Dave and all,

So I have to throw out the challenge - if some of the choices being made
are detrimental to the user experience:

(a) why are we blaming IT, rather than users for accepting the changes
or top management for rewarding this behaviour?

(b) is it better to treat the symptom (working around problems caused by
IT standardisation and cost savings) or the cause (calling out and
asking for the non-holistic decision making process to be fixed)?

(c) in any case, how can we be so sure that the net position of the
company *isn't* improved in net terms when offsetting the lower user
productivity against the costs saved?

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 13/01/2013 7:01 AM, Dave Simmons wrote:
Hi, Maria,

I was just ranting about this topic in a similar vein! Our CIO has
taken on a cause of IT Enterprise Architecture and, in the laudable
interest of cutting IT overhead costs and reducing variable
software/hardware solutions, they seem to be driving toward solutions
that are dropping the focus on the end user and raising the focus on
conformed software products, cost reduction, and TCO.

Some of the drivers that I see in the conversation for this trend is
less on how we use the IT and more on budget drivers, such as cost per
seat, or cost reductions (e.g. desktop software costs vs. cloud
computing with "similar" products).

As a Knowledge Management Specialist, my recent experience has been on
developing "architectures" for document management software with the
EA group. In this scenario, the suggested levels of DMS are as
follows:
Google Drive (to replace windows network shares), Salesforce Content
(to replace Sharepoint) and Documentum (for long-term permanent
storage).

There is no acknowledgement from the EA folks that there is a
difference between "file" management and "document" management (DM has
workflow, version checking, security levels, etc.). My point is that
the EA group sees files as documents, and documents as files and the
content is subordinated to the software that drives it.

Another situation I've encountered is a switch from an Adobe Reader to
another brand software that is cheaper. This change was made quickly
and with no advance notice. What was discovered is that this
substituted software wouldn't allow multiple electronic signatures.
For an organization that maintains government contracts with several
approval streams, this is a deal breaker feature needed when selecting
software.
My point is that EA groups may not have the business savvy (of the
business of the organization, not the software industry), to
understand critical features needed when selecting software. As it
stands, I understand that we are returning to Adobe.

So, the crux of my contribution is that Enterprise "Architects" may
have a good grasp of the IT industry, but don't have a good sense of
the context in which the software is used, and the drivers tend to be
reduced to recordable things like cost reduction rather than speed of
service delivery or increased success of the organization's mission.

Dave

Dave Simmons


On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 8:31 AM, Maria Brindlmayer
<mbrindlmay001@gmail.com <mailto:mbrindlmay001@gmail.com>> wrote:

__

Hi,____

__ __

I know this is a provocative title, but I have just seen another
example where IT standardization and cost savings trump over user
needs and user experience research for KM applications. But this
was
not the first time - examples include:____

__-__Groups that have nothing in common are forced to share an
unwieldy and lengthy taxonomy on a platform that does not meet
their
needs;____

__-__Software is chosen not because it has the best fit with the
user needs but because the organization wants to standardize on a
certain IT software suite for other reasons;____

__-__Whilst IT might have done some customization before to better
meet user requirements, they are now insisting on strictly
"out-of-the-box" solutions to save development and upgrade
costs.____

__ __

Whilst I can see the need for cost savings and standardization, I
have seen this negatively impact the role of the knowledge manager
and the reputation of knowledge management. KM is often getting
blamed for not delivering what the users want. Or the applications
don't get used because they are not user friendly and KM gets
blamed
for not delivering its promised value. Obviously IT is not all
that
defines KM, but IT solutions are such an integral part in the
delivery of some of the KM activities, that it has quite an
impact.____

__ __

Has anyone else seen similar examples?____

What options and solutions have you found for successfully
delivering good user experience in this kind of IT
environment?____

__ __

Maria____

Maria Brindlmayer____

202-365-2440 <tel:202-365-2440>____



------------------------------------

Yahoo! Groups Links


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Jeff –

 

Actually, Ross et.al. (2006) discuss this issue very well.  They talk about four business processes (replication, unification, coordination, and diversification.  Weil and Ross (2009) describe the need for interaction (negotiation) between business and IT leaders to achieve balanced enterprise objectives.  Carty and Lansford (2009) takes the latter further with Intel’s Business Value Decision Framework which characterizes change as having positive, neutral, and negative values on both the business and IT. 

 

Good reading and all incorporated in the knowledge manageability framework.

 

Al Simard

 

From: sikmleaders@... [mailto:sikmleaders@...] On Behalf Of Jeff Stemke
Sent: January-13-13 5:17 PM
To: sikmleaders@...
Subject: [sikmleaders] Re: Is IT killing user experience?

 

 

Many of the replies to this question describe an IT department that is out of touch with its customers. IT is a service function; the business and business users are the true customers. Unfortunately, I have no doubt that many IT departments don't share this point of view.

 

In my experience, the business provides funding for IT. They may not recognize the power this gives them. Certainly they have a say on the functionality they need for the business processes. Ease of use is a business requirement. Customer satisfaction with operation and performance is a metric of success.

 

IT does have a responsibility to provide a coherent set of tools to meet business needs. Enterprise architecture is actually a good thing. It is not prudent to open the servers to any software product that a customer recommends. You mention difficulty with a vendors tool that enforce a broad taxonomy that made it difficult for users to find the information they need. There is another problem that arises when users are offered a variety of products with overlapping capabilities: the need to learn how to use multiple tools. This can create similar barriers to communication and collaboration.

 

One suggestion is to establish a business advisory board for IT. IT needs to learn what the business and its users need to do. Dialog is a better way to achieve success. Neither partner will succeed on their own.

 

 

Jeff Stemke

 


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Al,

I fully agree with you that we need to reconcile the "hard" and "soft" approaches to solving our organisational problems. But I don't see that we have to be so cynical about "the language of business".

Symptoms such as focusing on short term financial results instead of long term sustainability are almost always due to misaligned individual incentives. They aren't intrinsic to the running of an organisation --
consider whether your statement is true of government organisations or charities. Destructive incentives are one of the important areas where Knowledge Managers can and *must* voice concerns where it's the cause of malfunction.

Also, I mostly disagree that document, records, content and information management are "precursors" to KM. I see these and KM as legitimate, equal, but overlapping disciplines. KM isn't the "next generation" of document management any more than a plane is a "next generation" car --
one may be a more technically complex concept but they each have a legitimate purpose.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 15/01/2013 2:59 AM, Simard, Albert wrote:
Dave
In fact, file, document, records, content, and information management
are all first-generation precursors to KM. Their task is to make
explicit knowledge available to all who need it. They do little for
2^nd and 3^rd generation KM (motivating sharing, and enabling
collaboration). In my view your reference to enterprise architecture
parallels the experience of KM. There are two approaches in both
domains which I refer to as structured (IT, systems) and unstructured
(attitudes, relationships, culture, business). The two approaches in
both disciplines see themselves as THE solution and dont interact with
(or understand) the other approach. Truth be told, both approaches are
essential to organizational success. The problem is that no one has
been able to integrate them yet.

Thats my quest in attempting to develop a knowledge services
reference architecture.

Al Simard


Simard, Albert <albert.simard@...>
 

Stephen -

You are quite correct that KM isn't the next generation of document
management. In my mind, there's a non-linear shift (call it a
higher-order emergence) at that transition. However, although managing
knowledge assets is the first generation of KM, this has a substantial
overlap with IM from whence it emerged. And, without an IM foundation,
It's difficult to see how KM could sustain itself. I tell managers who
want to leap straight to social networking that all three generations of
KM are needed if they want to sustain and capture value from the third
generation.

Al

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds [mailto:km@bounds.net.au]
Sent: January-15-13 6:37 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Simard, Albert
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

Hi Al,

I fully agree with you that we need to reconcile the "hard" and "soft"
approaches to solving our organisational problems. But I don't see that
we have to be so cynical about "the language of business".

Symptoms such as focusing on short term financial results instead of
long term sustainability are almost always due to misaligned individual
incentives. They aren't intrinsic to the running of an organisation --
consider whether your statement is true of government organisations or
charities. Destructive incentives are one of the important areas where
Knowledge Managers can and *must* voice concerns where it's the cause of
malfunction.

Also, I mostly disagree that document, records, content and information
management are "precursors" to KM. I see these and KM as legitimate,
equal, but overlapping disciplines. KM isn't the "next generation" of
document management any more than a plane is a "next generation" car --
one may be a more technically complex concept but they each have a
legitimate purpose.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 15/01/2013 2:59 AM, Simard, Albert wrote:
Dave -

In fact, file, document, records, content, and information management
are all first-generation precursors to KM. Their task is to make
explicit knowledge available to all who need it. They do little for
2^nd and 3^rd generation KM (motivating sharing, and enabling
collaboration). In my view your reference to enterprise architecture
parallels the experience of KM. There are two approaches in both
domains which I refer to as structured (IT, systems) and unstructured
(attitudes, relationships, culture, business). The two approaches in
both disciplines see themselves as THE solution and don't interact
with (or understand) the other approach. Truth be told, both
approaches are essential to organizational success. The problem is
that no one has been able to integrate them yet.

That's my "quest" in attempting to develop a knowledge services
reference architecture.

Al Simard


Stephen Bounds
 

Hi Albert,

Glad to hear that you feel that all three generations have value.

But I don't think that social networking has been unequivocally demonstrated to be the correct course of action for all organisations ... Except in the sense that informal, extra-organisational networks are essential and have been really critical forever and a day. However, these fall into the category of management attitude towards staff generally rather than anything that should be formally managed.

To be frank, I'm worried about the current emphasis on social KM because once again we appear to be running after the Next Big Thing instead of really understanding how to exploit the basic techniques we are developing.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 16/01/2013 2:32 AM, Simard, Albert wrote:
Stephen -

You are quite correct that KM isn't the next generation of document
management. In my mind, there's a non-linear shift (call it a
higher-order emergence) at that transition. However, although managing
knowledge assets is the first generation of KM, this has a substantial
overlap with IM from whence it emerged. And, without an IM foundation,
It's difficult to see how KM could sustain itself. I tell managers who
want to leap straight to social networking that all three generations of
KM are needed if they want to sustain and capture value from the third
generation.

Al

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bounds [mailto:km@bounds.net.au]
Sent: January-15-13 6:37 AM
To: sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Simard, Albert
Subject: Re: [sikmleaders] Is IT killing user experience?

Hi Al,

I fully agree with you that we need to reconcile the "hard" and "soft"
approaches to solving our organisational problems. But I don't see that
we have to be so cynical about "the language of business".

Symptoms such as focusing on short term financial results instead of
long term sustainability are almost always due to misaligned individual
incentives. They aren't intrinsic to the running of an organisation --
consider whether your statement is true of government organisations or
charities. Destructive incentives are one of the important areas where
Knowledge Managers can and *must* voice concerns where it's the cause of
malfunction.

Also, I mostly disagree that document, records, content and information
management are "precursors" to KM. I see these and KM as legitimate,
equal, but overlapping disciplines. KM isn't the "next generation" of
document management any more than a plane is a "next generation" car --
one may be a more technically complex concept but they each have a
legitimate purpose.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

On 15/01/2013 2:59 AM, Simard, Albert wrote:
Dave -

In fact, file, document, records, content, and information management
are all first-generation precursors to KM. Their task is to make
explicit knowledge available to all who need it. They do little for
2^nd and 3^rd generation KM (motivating sharing, and enabling
collaboration). In my view your reference to enterprise architecture
parallels the experience of KM. There are two approaches in both
domains which I refer to as structured (IT, systems) and unstructured
(attitudes, relationships, culture, business). The two approaches in
both disciplines see themselves as THE solution and don't interact
with (or understand) the other approach. Truth be told, both
approaches are essential to organizational success. The problem is
that no one has been able to integrate them yet.

That's my "quest" in attempting to develop a knowledge services
reference architecture.

Al Simard


Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

IT are awful. No, it's everyone else's fault, leave the poor IT people alone.

I broadly agree about the role of incentives, KPIs and directions from leadership and their impact on the focus of the IT department.
 
But is it simply the case that normally user-focused IT professionals are being corrupted by evil C-level executives?
 
In my experiences dealing with IT cultures (in IT product and service companies, working with IT departments, hanging out with the developer community), these cultures tend to be engineering-focused, macho, geeky and more concerned with building awesome stuff that impresses your peers rather than pleases your users. UX work is considered lower status - the women's work of "prettifying" what the promethean male engineer builds (I'm using gendered language but obviously there are plenty of female IT people and male UX people). I don't necessarily have a solution to this but I do think it's important to call it out.