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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14510

Authors: Sasso, William C.
Reitman Olson, Judith
Merten, Alan C.
Issue Date: Feb-1986
Publisher: Stern School of Business, New York University
Series/Report no.: IS-86-07
Abstract: Office analysis is a technique for supporting the first stage in modern systems analysis and design, the invention phase. The process involves first describing the activities that take place in a given office, focusing not on who is doing what with an object, but rather on the high level information processing activities that change or move the object's information content. After having described the activities, office analysis prescribes modifications of the existing system, by identifying both potential reconfigurations of work and additional technological support. These prescriptions are based primarily on theory from cognitive psychology about the strengths and weaknesses of humans as information processors (e.g., they are fast and powerful in creating information, but slow and error prone in transporting information from place to place). This paper describes how office analysis works and what makes it hard to do, including the facts that office work is intangible, seems to lack focus, and often involves intermingled and parallel streams of activity. There are, however, major advantages to successful analysis: requirements for new information systems are founded on careful scrutiny of the work done in the office, assigning those activities better done by computers to automation and those by people to people. We argue that the application of office analysis techniques will make more efficient use of an organization's resources, including human resources, to accomplish its information processing activities.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/14510
Appears in Collections:IOMS: Information Systems Working Papers

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