Thursday, September 19, 2013

System vs Personal views

When we compare the activities performed with and without the aid of a reminder list, we see that the conclusion one draws depends on the point of view being taken.  To the outside observer (who takes the system view), the same actions are intended to be performed with and without the list, but (usually) they are carried out more accurately and reliably with the list.  To the individual user (who takes the personal view), the list is not a memory or planning enhancer, it is a set of new tasks to be performed, with the aspects of the list relevant to memory and planning separated from the aspects of the list relevant to performance. - Donald Norman, 2007  (Thanks Clark!)

Many of the process improvement activities I've seen recently have consisted of creating artifacts (checklists, tools, applications) where there are none.  Formalizing "known" processes.

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