Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog
a card-carrying member of the reality-based community


Contact Fred:


I listen to IT Conversations


Subscribe to "Fred Sampson's Radio Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Electronic Freedom Foundation



  Thursday, July 22, 2004

Scoble sez:

Don Norman working on Longhorn: Whoa, ComputerWorld says that design guru Don Norman is consulting on Longhorn. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]

Maybe he should be consulting for SAP:

New Government Computer System Takes 15 Steps To Save A Document. . . It turns out that a new SAP powered computer system at two offices of (of all things) the Federal Technology Service (the GSA's info tech procurement group), has slowed things down to a crawl. They're blaming the training procedure... but apparently they were trained without actually seeing the system they were being trained on (no, seriously). The article claims that the GSA was shocked to discover that practice and theory didn't match, and that employees actually needed trainers on hand to help them when they actually had the new system in place. Of course, one reason why they might need training is that the system sounds ridiculously complex. It now takes 15 (count 'em) steps to save a file. Meanwhile, bills go unpaid, orders go unprocessed, and the group insists they're going to muddle through because turning back is not an option and "workarounds" will upset the auditors. . .[Techdirt]

In the first place, don't these folks understand that training works best when it's hands-on? People learn by doing, not by being told.

Secondly, this is an interesting insight about an SAP system. The new issue of Business 2.0 includes an interview with SAP CEO Henning Kagermann (subscription required, maybe?), who insists that his software must be inflexible in order to provide accurate accounting. He equates inflexible with accurate. But we all know that unusable does not equate to accuracy. Unusable software increases errors. Frustrated users make mistakes. In this case, unusable software results in unpaid bills. How does that make for accurate accounting?

[Unnecessary disclosure: yes, I work for a competitor of SAP.]

10:29:35 AM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:22:51 PM.

July 2004
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Jun   Aug

Search this site:

Fred's Blogroll

ACLU Safe and Free

What I'm Reading:

The WeatherPixie