Ergonomics of Very Large IT Projects

Ergonomics of Very Large IT Projects

Matthew Guah (Erasmus School of Economics, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-546-7.ch008
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Abstract

Medical accidents, such as those that occur as a consequence of errors in medical systems, rarely happen because of a single failure. They are usually the consequence of a multiple breakdown in the system. This chapter explores the potential for risk and, demonstrates the need to improve design interventions in a VLITP context. It considers issues that range from the design, packaging and labelling of VLITP environment in which medical systems error might occur. The ergonomics systems approach to VLITP is an appropriate method for involving all key users and for addressing their needs. This requires generic issues to be considered. Such issues include: task design, interface analysis, communication interface, variation in user characteristics, and needs (including motivation and culture), training needs, work organizational issues, and the evaluation of interventions and current practice.
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What Is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the intense application of ‘user compliance’ when designing technology. This approach, during VLITP implementation, puts human needs and capabilities at the focus of designing technological systems. The aim is to ensure that humans and technology work in complete harmony, where the equipment and tasks aligned to human characteristics (Stappers et al, 2007). Ergonomics has a wide application to everyday domestic situations, but there are even more significant implications for efficiency, productivity, safety and health in work settings including:

  • Designing equipment and information systems that make IT easier to use and less likely to lead to errors in after rolling the system out. This is particularly important in high stress and safety-critical operations such as server rooms.

  • Designing tasks and jobs so that they are effective and take account of human needs such as rest breaks and sensible shift patterns, as well as other factors such as intrinsic rewards of work itself.

  • Designing equipment and work arrangements to improve working posture and ease the load on the body, thus reducing instances of repetitive strain injuries and other work related disorder in limbs.

  • Information systems being designed to make the interpretation and use of instructional materials, leaflets and books, signs, and displays easier and less error-prone.

  • Design of training arrangements to cover all significant aspects of the job concerned and to take account of human learning requirements.

  • Designing working environments, including lighting and heating, to suit the needs of the users and the tasks performed. This could also involve the design of personal protective equipment for work and hostile environments.

  • For people with minimum experience with IT, this may include assistance by enhancing basic technology for easier acceptability and effectiveness.

The multi-disciplinary nature of ergonomics (sometimes called ‘Human Factors’) is immediately obvious (Buckle et al, 2003; Mohamed and Irani, 2004). Ergonomics can be applied in connections with a variety of other professions: design engineers, production engineers, industrial designers, computer specialists, industrial physicians, health and safety practitioners, and specialists in human resources. The overall aim of involving ergonomist in VLITP is to ensure that VLITPs consider existing knowledge of human characteristics and concentrate on practical problems of people at work and in leisure. While many existing systems relay people capacity to adapt to unsuitable conditions, such adaptations quite often lead to inefficiency, errors, unacceptable stress, and physical or mental cost to individuals (Midden and De Vries, 2006). Figure 1 shows a human-task-environment, which demonstrates influences human have on performance of a system in the host organization, taking into consideration the systems nature of ergonomics. The final objective of ergonomics is to ensure working in VLITP environments do not result in eyestrain and muscle fatigue or some other human irritations and inconveniences which are currently not inevitable.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Leslie Willcocks
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Matthew Guah
This chapter classifies the purpose of project management in IT projects as a means of introducing the topics covered in the book and demonstrates... Sample PDF
Introduction to Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 2
Matthew Guah
By examining the history of what was earlier considered project management, this chapter not only points out lessons from past practices but also... Sample PDF
The Field of Project Management
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Chapter 3
Matthew Guah
The basis upon which the objectives and policies for managing a VLITP are formulated is the need to achieve the project objectives on time and under... Sample PDF
Why Implement Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 4
Matthew Guah
Different VLITP methodologies are capable of solving various types of problems during a project life cycle. This chapter shows that effect of VLITP... Sample PDF
Methodologies for Implementing VLITPs
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Chapter 5
IT Governance  (pages 69-83)
Matthew Guah
VLITP managers face unprecedented expectations for their governance. These expectations are driven by mandates and other demands from host... Sample PDF
IT Governance
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Chapter 6
IT Security  (pages 84-95)
Matthew Guah
One area that has scarcely received attention in the IT security literature, is the role that individual compliance plays in preventing... Sample PDF
IT Security
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Chapter 7
Matthew Guah
The study of diffusion, adoption, and IT project implementation in popular literature relies on theories which do not address the question of why... Sample PDF
Human Resource Issues in VLITP
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Chapter 8
Matthew Guah
Medical accidents, such as those that occur as a consequence of errors in medical systems, rarely happen because of a single failure. They are... Sample PDF
Ergonomics of Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 9
Matthew Guah
For centuries, organizations have been trying to exchange information between their applications by linking them together. However, such application... Sample PDF
Service-Oriented Architecture: A New Platform for Very Large IT Projects
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Chapter 10
Matthew Guah
The chapter seeks to advance the practice perspective of VLITP by drawing attention to individual, collective sub-teams and host organizational... Sample PDF
Business Process Management
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Chapter 11
Matthew Guah
VLITP escalation has been documented to be a widespread phenomenon in the 21st century. Nearly every research in this area has portrayed escalation... Sample PDF
Outsourcing and Escalation Issues in VLITPs
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Chapter 12
Matthew Guah
The traditional way to achieve the automatic execution of project management processes is to develop or purchase an application that executes the... Sample PDF
VLITP Management Framework
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Chapter 13
Matthew Guah
The National Programme for Information Technology is the largest civil IT program worldwide at an estimated cost of £6.2 bn, US$ 10 billion, over a... Sample PDF
Case Study I: National Program for IT
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Chapter 14
Matthew Guah
VLITP can shift the direction of organizations by introducing new systems and emerging technologies that can serve as a trigger for change to the... Sample PDF
Case Study II: RFID—A Technology for Enterprise Systems in the Airlines Industry
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Chapter 15
Matthew Guah
Prediction markets have proven high forecasting performance in many areas such as politics, sports, and business-related fields, compared to... Sample PDF
Case Study III: VLITP in Public Transport— Implementing OV-Chipcard in The Netherlands
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