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Allocation of function: scenarios, context and the economics of effort.

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael HarrisonORCiD, Emeritus Professor Pete Wright


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In this paper, we describe an approach to allocation of function that makes use of scenarios as its basic unit of analysis. Our use of scenarios is driven by a desire to ensure that allocation decisions are sensitive to the context in which the system will be used and by insights from economic utility theory. We use the scenarios to focus the attention of decision makers on the relative costs and benefits of developing automated support for the activities of the scenario, the relative impact of functions on the performance of the operator's primary role and on the relative demands placed on an operator within the scenario. By focussing on relative demands and relative costs, our method seeks to allocate the operator's limited resources to the most important and most productive tasks within the work system, and to direct the effort of the design organization to the development of automated support for those functions that deliver the greatest benefit for the effective operation of the integrated human–machine system.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dearden A, Harrison MD, Wright PC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

Year: 2000

Volume: 52

Issue: 2

Pages: 289-318

ISSN (print): 1071-5819

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9300

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1006/ijhc.1999.0290


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