We’ve all heard of the buzz term ‘information overload’ to describe the flood of information we rarely get under control. There is definitely some truth in the fact that you have to make an effort nowadays to avoid drowning in this flood. That said, most information represents something else for me, and probably for many of you as well: it represents the key to success.
To be able to complete a task successfully, we need the right information at the right time. When we are working in the office, this information is generally provided by the software that we use on our PCs. This software is designed to help us be successful and ultimately satisfied with our performance.
Therefore I can’t help but wonder when I hear some of the ongoing discussions in connection with the introduction of new software systems. What I have of course realised is that people like familiarity – and I’m no exception.
New software systems – goodwill on all sides needed
Nonetheless, since knowledge is virtually exploding beyond the bounds of existing systems, we have to keep introducing new software to keep up with demand. It would be nice if the introduction of new systems could happen with more goodwill on all sides and pass off with less friction and unpleasant discussions. In my opinion, this is definitely achievable: Management and IT should ask themselves whether they are really doing enough to include users, inform them, get them on side, take any concerns they have seriously and proceed with caution during the implementation phase. Meanwhile, users need to be more open to new developments and sometimes more objective too: arguments bring out more than just emotions, after all.
Everyone should bear in mind what is most important when it comes to ensuring information is available where and when it is needed; the top priority is the person and the next-most important priority the task that needs to be solved. Person and task – for me, these are the factors determining the requirements for an information system. Knowledge is increasing on a daily basis and consequently so too are the requirements placed on people and systems. What do we actually mean by ‘knowledge’ though?
Knowledge is someone’s experience, which they have subsequently documented and made available to other people. It is becoming increasingly important for me to be able to quickly and unbureaucratically document all the experiences I have gained, and be able to revise this information as well.
Knowledge on its own is not enough to guarantee success. You also have to be in a position to apply the knowledge with a view the aim of adding value. One particular phrase I read recently comes to mind: “Success is spelt D.O. I.T!”, in other words ‘Actions speak louder than words’.
Knowledge is also exchanged in a blog such as this. It provides you with food for thought and helps you to develop your own new ideas as part of your continuous development process.
What are your experiences?
I have tried to summarise my thoughts on the topics of knowledge, information and information systems. I hope it was all understandable and would be happy to hear any feedback you may have. I would also be interested in hearing what experiences you have had with information systems – both in general and at MANN+HUMMEL specifically.