ognizant Communication Corporation

FAILURE & LESSONS LEARNED IN INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT

ABSTRACTS
VOLUME 1, NUMBER 2, 1997

Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 79-87, 1997
1088-128X/97 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Knowledge-Based Systems Experience in the Victorian Electricity Commission's Production Group

Brian Ware

Gippsland School of Computing & Information Technology, Monash University, Churchill, Australia, 3842

The experience of an information systems development group, in attempts to develop a number of knowledge-based systems within a major government-owned electrical supply authority, is documented and examined in the light of relevant literature. Within the power-generating facility of that authority, management perceived knowledge-based systems (KBS) solutions as the ultimate solution to a range of management problems, some of which were mission-critical under organization-wide restructuring. Most of the proposed projects related either to management issues precipitated or exacerbated by that restructuring, or to the impending loss of irreplaceable expertise in the reorganization. A KBS team successfully developed and applied a few effective prototype systems. However, the more complex projects, those most critical to senior management, could not be satisfactorily developed as KBS, despite allocation of considerable resources and time. The team was disbanded after 4 years, through management disillusionment with the technology and changing information technology (IT) priorities within the organization. All of the KBS expertise gained was rapidly lost to that IT organization and its successors. From limited data, the case study draws a number of tentative conclusions concerning KBS development teams, relating to issues of politics, leadership, KBS personnel, client perceptions, project selection and management, development procedures, software, and platforms. Congruence between these tentative conclusions and those of other research provide a measure of confidence of validity.

Key words: Knowledge-based systems; Electrical power; Information technology

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Brian Ware. Tel: +61 3 5122 6832; Fax: +61 3 5122 6842; E-mail: Brian.Ware@fcit.monash.edu.lau




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 89-97, 1997
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Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Lessons Learned on Successes and Failures of KBSs

Patrick Brézillon and Jean-Charles Pomerol

LAFORIA-IPB, Case 169, University Paris 6, 4, place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France

Many articles describe the first steps of the implementation of knowledge-based systems (KBSs). Some articles report the successful use of KBSs in organizations. For example, there is a special issue of AI Journal (Volume 59, 1993) that collects reports on KBSs in use during 10 years or more. On the other hand, articles reporting failures of nonuse of KBSs are rare. The International Conference on "Successes and Failures of Knowledge-Bases Systems in Real-World Applications" (Bangkok, Thailand) is the first attempt to collect and analyze such experiences. This article provides a summary of the results of the conference; it also relies on our own experience in KBS development in organization, and on the literature. Among the main results, it appears that the success of a knowledge-based system depends on dimensions often neglected, such as the types of knowledge involved in the systems, the organizational framework, and the architecture of the system. This permits to discover what the new challenges for KBS development are.

Key words: Knowledge-based systems; Expert systems; Lessons learned

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Patrick Brézillon. Tel: +33 1 44 27 47 21; Fax: +33 1 44 27 70 00; E-mail: brezil@laforia.ibp.fr




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 99-111, 1997
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Organizational Relations Analysis and Information Systems Design: A Proposal and an Application*

Piero Migliarese1,2 and Claudio Ferioli2

1Department of Business Organizations, The University of Calabria, Italy
2Department of Economics and Production, Politecnico of Milan, Italy

This article proposes an information system (IS) design method based on the analysis of the system's organizational impact. The aim of the proposed method is the joint design of the IS and of the organizational changes required for its use. In particular, the article examines the design of IT tools for supporting management decisions [management decision support systems (DSS)]. Three organizational aspects are considered: (i) the analysis of decisional requirements of managers, (ii) the changes the DSS causes in users work habits, and (iii) the changes the DSS causes in organizational power equilibrium. The article considers already known perspectives (such as the concept of bounded rationality, the analysis of work habit changes, the transaction costs perspective, the organizational power perspective, etc.) and proposes a new approach ( the relational approach to organizational analysis) based on the analysis of the network of relations existing in the organization. This article applies the relational approach in the analysis of power equilibrium changes: the analysis of organizational relations overcomes some of the limits of the classical organizational perspectives to political analysis of IS introduction. Moreover, an application of the proposed IS design method regarding the DSS introduction in a public health agency is described. This action-research case study shows how to apply the proposed relational approach to organizational analysis and proves its validity.

Key words: Decision support systems; Information systems design; Organizational impact

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Piero Migliarese, P.zza Leonardo da Vinci, 32; 20133 Milano, Italy. Fax: + 39.2.2399.2720; E-mail: migliare@mail.ecopro.polimi.it

*This article has been partially supported by Mauro Fund-Politecnico di Milano and by CNR Fund No. 96.01873CT11




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 113-121, 1997
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Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Enhancing Knowledge-Based Systems With Decision Support Tools: A Case Study in the Marketing Domain

P. Burrell1 and Y. Duan2

1Knowledge Base System Centre, South Bank University, London SE1 0 AA
2Luton Business School, University of Luton, Luton LU1 3JU

Knowledge-based systems have been successfully used in many areas, but in the domain of strategic planning, especially marketing planning, success has been less than satisfactory. Strategic decision making requires sophisticated analysis and expert judgements, and the use of knowledge-based systems in the domain, although having advantages, has been shown to have a number of limitations. The authors of this article encountered these limitations through their involvement in the development of a system for strategic marketing planning. The original purpose of the research was to develop a knowledge-based system to support the strategic marketing planning process but it was found that a knowledge-based system alone was not suitable for some types of the tasks. The system emerged as a hybrid system that integrates knowledge base technology with decision support tools. It was found that this type of hybrid system produces better results when supporting various types of decision-making tasks. This article examines the characteristics of the strategic planning domain and discusses why a knowledge base system, as a single system, has failed to tackle this complex planning process. The article then discusses the selection of the strategic marketing planning model used for the hybrid system, the overall system architecture, and how an enhanced operational research technique was used to introduce structure into a largely subjective process of assigning importance to various marketing factors. It concludes with some lessons learned through the development of the system and some results from experienced users.

Key words: Decision support; knowledge base system; Marketing; Analytic hierarchy process; Strategic management

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to P. Burrell. Tel: +44 (0) 171 815 7408; Fax: +44 (0) 171 815 7499; E-mail: phillb@sbu.ac.uk




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 123-133, 1997
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Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Domain-Oriented Design Environments: Knowledge-Based Systems for the Real World

Gerhard Fischer

Center for LifeLong Learning & Design (L3D), Department of Computer Science and Institute of Cognitive Science, Campus Box 430, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0430

Over the last 10 years we have created a theoretical framework for domain-oriented design environments (DODEs), developed several prototypes and assessed them in real-world settings. DODEs are knowledge-based systems that emphasize a human-centered and domain-oriented approach. Used as intelligent support systems, they facilitate collaboration and communication among humans as well as between humans and their computational environments to create more useful and usable artifacts. In this article we discuss a component architecture (the multifaceted architecture) and a process model (the seeding, evolutionary growth, reseeding model) underlying DODEs by focusing specifically on their support for evolution. We describe two of the applications developed for voice dialogue and computer network design, and we discuss our experience with the DODE approach derived from real-world uses in collaboration with companies and communities of practice.

Key words: Domain-oriented design; Domain-oriented design environments; End user modification; Evolution; Organizational learning and organizational memory

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Gerhard Fischer. Tel: (303) 492-1592; Fax: (303) 492-2844; E-mail: gerhard@cs.colorado.edu; WWW: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/gerhard/




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 135-147, 1997
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Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Knowledge-Based Front-Ends as Games

Kostas Stathis and Marek Sergot

Department of Computing, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, 180 Queen's Gate, London SW7 2BZ, UK

We present a framework for building complex interactive systems from simple components, with particular attention to the development of knowledge-based front-ends to software packages. The work is motivated from problems with the interactions of GLIMPSE and FAST, two knowledge-based front-ends developed using logic programming tools and techniques. To avoid the pitfalls of GLIMPSE and FAST but to keep their characteristic features, we view interaction as a rule-governed activity that may be usefully regarded as a game. Given a specification of the rules, implementation of the knowledge-based front-end requires the construction of an umpire, a component that enforces compliance of the players with the rules and thereby controls the interaction. Advice-giving components added to the system are analogous to games played in the presence of an advisor who recommends moves to the participants. We also investigate how to customize existing games by studying how to expand and filter their moves. More generally, we examine how to develop compound games built up from subgames; coordination of moves chosen from subgames is then a key issue. This is resolved by treating subgames as active components that communicate the results of interactions from subgames to more complex games illustrated by examples from LAST, a reconstruction of the GLIMPSE and FAST systems in the game-playing framework.

Key words: Knowledge-based front-ends; Query-the-user; Transition rules; Games

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Kostas Stathis. Tel: +44-(0)171-594-8218; Fax: +44-(0)171-589-1552; E-mail: ks@doc.ic.ac.uk




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 149-157, 1997
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Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Lessons Learned From a University-Industry Cooperative Project in Tutoring Systems

Clause Frasson and Esma Aïmeur

Université de Montréal , Département d'Informatique et de Recherche Opérationnelle, 2920 Chemin de la Tour, Montréal, H3C 3J7, Québec, Canada

This article presents the lessons learned from a project developed in cooperation between universities and industries. In the present final phase, we can show positive results but also highlight some problems that have to be avoided to maintain a coherent and progressive development approach. The project aims at developing various components of Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) in a discipline involving multiple knowledge-based systems. They include several components, such as a pedagogical expertise, learner model, subject matter, but also various methodological aspects. After reviewing the main advantages of ITS we describe the most important components of the architecture and the progression of the project. We illustrate, through the development of the different prototypes, the difficulties to overcome and the solution retained.

Key words: Intelligent tutoring systems; Lessons learned; Cooperative projects

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Claude Frasson. Tel: 1-514-343-7019; Fax: 1-514-343-5834; E-mail: frasson@iro.umontreal.ca




Failure & Lessons Learned in Information Technology Management, Vol. 1, pp. 159-166, 1997
1088-128X/97 $10.00 + .00
Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

A Comparative Evaluation of Four Commercial Knowledge-Based Systems

Jonathan Killin and Olivier Curet

Deloitte & Touche, 1 Little New Street, London EC4A 3TR, UK

This article looks at four of the many knowledge-based systems that have been developed by Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group since 1988. All four are commercial systems, which are either currently in use or scheduled to be in use in the near future (second quarter 1996). Three of the systems are intended to highlight possible fraud risks; the other makes decisions in the domain of new business underwriting (which includes an element of fraud risk identification). The systems work in the financial services domain. Two function in a credit card company, one in an asset finance company, and the other in a firm of accountants. We present some of the development statistics for each of these systems. We compare and contrast the success of each system, and attempt a comparative evaluation. Taken chronologically by date of development, the four systems under consideration are: FraudWatch (FW; FraudWatch is a registered trademark of Barclays Bank plc), Fraud2000 (F2k), INCase/TMFDT (INC), and Credit WorkBench (CWB).

Key words: Knowledge-based systems; Commercial systems; Finance

Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Jonathan Killin. Tel: (+44) 171 936 3000; E-mail: jonathan_killin@deloitte.touche.co.uk