Capturing Distributed Contributions to an Informal Work Process: A Hospital Facility Case Study

Capturing Distributed Contributions to an Informal Work Process: A Hospital Facility Case Study

Cláudio Miguel Sapateiro, Sérgio Grosso
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-670-4.ch054
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Beside formalized work processes, organizations also present work processes that aren’t a priori formalized and often rely heavily on tacit knowledge and experience distributed among involved actors. To develop information systems (IS) to assist such work processes is a challenging task. The traditional approaches for modeling often reveal short in emergent and informal work processes which are hardly elicited in requirements phase. In this work we’ve focus in the collaborative dimension of an informal work process to develop a IS aiming to improve the outcome of such process. Teams shared awareness was used as coordination and control mechanism for a loosely coupled collaboration model. The implementation of the proposed conceptual approach in a hospital facility is reported.
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Problem Description

The work here described was implemented in a hospital facility in Setubal – Portugal, and aimed to manage the information delivered to hospital users standing in the waiting rooms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Bundle (of Tags): A bundle aggregate a group of tags that are held together due some shared significance attributed by the bundle name. Example: Tags: ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology; Bundle: Medical Specialties

Discount Inspection Techniques: Discount Inspections Techniques comprehend cost-effective ways of evaluating software user interfaces. They are fairly informal methods, easy to use and when combined with other techniques (e.g. usage scenarios discussion) can yield relevant insights about the software under development/evaluation. Samples of discount inspection techniques are: Heuristic evaluation, Cognitive walkthroughs, Usability inspection, Feature inspection.

Teams Shared Awareness: Beyond individual awareness (consisting in the mental model and real situation alignment), teams’ shared awareness also comprehends the degree of shared understanding between team members.

Work Process: Consists in a collection of interrelated (in time and/or space) activities, performed by a number of actors to accomplish a particular goal. Systems development under this organizational work perspective implies a strong emphasis on how work is conducted to achieve the intended products or services.

Information Product: A collection of content that is processed as a unit. Consists of a series of elements in a defined order and structure. Examples include user guides, brochures, press releases, web site content, technical specifications.

Emergent Work Processes: Emergent work processes consists of organizational activity patterns that exhibit three characteristics in combination: no best structure or sequence; distributed across an unpredictable set of actors and roles and evolving dynamically. Examples of emergent work processes include basic research, new product development, etc.

Groupware: Groupware refers to software applications that help people work together collectively, by supporting communication (synchronous and/or asynchronous) and resources sharing, while located remotely from each other. Sometimes called collaborative software, groupware is an integral component of a field of study known as Computer-Supported Cooperative Work or CSCW. Examples consist in calendars sharing or collective writing.

Tag: A tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are chosen informally and personally by the item’s creator or by its viewer, depending on the system.

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