Executive Information Requirements: Getting It Right
Most managers spend half their time trying to get the information they need, whether it be informally through meetings, phone conversations, or reading, or formally through organizational computer-based information. During this process they have to sift through a great deal of useless information, a situation commonly referred to as “information overload.” With the proliferating capabilities and plummeting cost of computers, it seems relief should be in sight for weary executives. Unfortunately, most information systems—formal or informal— do not meet executive needs. Indeed, most new systems require extensive revision (after they are supposedly completed) to even partially fulfill needs. This is a terrible loss. Most systems are expensive enough to develop. They are even more expensive to revise. As the pace of business accelerates, decisions that could wait for weeks must now be made in days, hours, or even minutes. Failure to get executives the information they need in a timely manner can result in lost opportunities or in a problem not being solved in time. Increasingly, executives have little reaction time to make decisions on pricing, product introduction, resource allocation, media inquiries, response to competition, and mergers. They need access to information without waiting several weeks or months for a computer project. Why can’t executives and system designers work together to more correctly anticipate and determine information requirements? In this article, four reasons information requirements are not met are discussed, and four straightforward solutions executives can use to solve this problem are offered.
|James C. Wetherbe
|Information requirements determination, prototyping, joint application design, cross functional design