Wrench in the System: What's Sabotaging Your Business Software and How You Can Release the Power to Innovate

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9780470413432: Wrench in the System: What's Sabotaging Your Business Software and How You Can Release the Power to Innovate
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Praise for WRENCH IN THE SYSTEM

"Look to Harold Hambrose to make significant contributions to safer health care records through interface design, product design, and data visualization. Wrench in the System should be the bible for corporate executives striving to gain a competitive advantage in these trying times."
—Alan Siegel, Chairman and CEO, Siegel+Gale

"During the short history of computing, interface design has usually been neglected, resulting in software that is cumbersome and counterintuitive. In this book, Harold Hambrose calls for design where 'help' is helpful and where clutter is eliminated. He describes a set of commonsense principles and asserts the essential place of design in superior products. Together with thought leaders like Edward Tufte, Harold Hambrose reminds us that great design can change the world."
—Tony Pizi, CIO, Asset Management Platform Services, Deutsche Bank

"Making computer information easily available to people in their work can help organizations meet their most important goals. This book recommends adopting traditional methods and procedures of design to do so, and suggests that turning data into accessible information could be a high calling for designers now. I wish we designers were as wise as the author considers us! But we, as much as computer users in business, can learn deep lessons from his confrontation of the challenges of information design today, and his demonstration of how our own techniques can apply to meeting them."
—Denise Scott Brown, Principal, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, and coauthor, Learning from Las Vegas

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From the Inside Flap:

Why business software doesn't work—and how to fix it

Every year, businesses waste billions of dollars on information technology that doesn't communicate clearly with the people who use it. This fundamental flaw causes errors and delays, lowers profits, and can even endanger lives.

In this groundbreaking book, technology designer Harold Hambrose shows executives and managers how to turn underperforming digital assets into powerhouse systems—how to specify small changes that dramatically boost productivity, how to reduce training costs, and how to ask vendors the right questions.

Wrench in the System reveals:

  • Why so many of our essential software systems are needlessly confusing
  • How to make low-cost changes that provide direct, measurable benefits
  • The hidden costs of forcing people to adapt to clumsy electronic tools
  • The secrets of matching software to the needs of the company
  • How to leverage the power of technology for innovation

Information technology is still in its adolescence, and Hambrose explains that because the industry has grown so quickly, it's still in an awkward phase. Software manufacturers have been in such a rush to add new features that they haven't paid enough attention to the human beings who use their products. Most software systems are built to fulfill business requirements and technical specifications, but often they fail to meet expectations because they aren't designed to anticipate human needs. As a result, much of our most powerful business software is ineffective and underutilized.

With compelling case histories and an engaging narrative, Hambrose exposes popular nonsense about software systems and shows how to evaluate them and measure their performance just as we do every other product.

This timely book by an industry insider tellsdecision makers what they need to know to unlock the full potential of one of their biggest business investments.

About the Author:

HAROLD HAMBROSE is the CEO and founder of Electronic Ink, a design consultancy he established in 1990. His company has transformed the operations of many Fortune 500 companies by showing them new ways to collaborate, innovate, and design low-cost solutions to some of their most expensive problems. His clients include British Petroleum, Comcast, Research In Motion, McDonald's, and dozens of other industry leaders, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

Electronic Ink is based in Philadelphia and has offices in Chicago, Raleigh-Durham, and London.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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