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Over time, it is surprising how collections of quotes and comments grow. Below are a few which have been gathered over the years. Further quotes to add to the collection are always welcome!

The quotes are categorized under:


Information & Knowledge Management

"Unlike information, knowledge is less tangible and depends on human cognition and awareness. There are several types of knowledge - 'knowing' a fact is little different from 'information', but 'knowing' a skill, or 'knowing' that something might affect market conditions is something, that despite attempts of knowledge engineers to codify such knowledge, has an important human dimension… Measuring the knowledge asset, therefore, means putting a value on people, both as individuals and more importantly on their collective capability, and other factors such as the embedded intelligence in an organisation's computer systems."

Dr. David Skyrme, "Management Insight No. 11", I3 (on-line: www.skyrme.com), 1994

"To be optimal, the enterprise functions as a system of interconnected actions that should be grounded with a core understanding of corporate values as well as a strategic sense of business purpose, vision, and direction."

Debra M. Amidon, Innovation Strategy for the Knowledge Economy – the Ken Awakening
Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997, p. 80

"Bentov’s Law - When one acquires a bit of new information, there are many new questions that are generated by it, and each new piece of information breeds five-to-ten new questions. These questions pile up at a much faster rate than does accumulated knowledge."

Daryl Morey and Tim Frangioso, "Knowledge Management Systems"
On-line presentation: www.mitre.org, 20 July 1997

"All of us are exposed to huge amounts of material, consisting of data, ideas, and conclusions - much of it is wrong or mis-understood or just plain confused… Humanity will be much better off when the reward structure is altered so that selection pressures on careers favor the sorting out of information as well as its acquisition."

Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar - adventures in the simple and the complex, Little, Brown and Company (UK), 1994, p.342-343

"Having studied the attempts of 25 companies to create entire information-based organisations... The primary reason for failure was that companies did not manage the politics of information."

Christopher Lorenz, "From feudalism to federalism", Financial Times, 19 October 1992, p.16

"The problem with data is that it's dead. We should bring it to life by thinking through all its relationships - both with other data and with the circumstances in the world that it's supposed to represent."

Phil Agre, "Living Data", Wired Magazine, November 1994, vol 2.11, p.94

"It takes a clever question to turn data into information, but it takes intelligence to use the result. Intelligence can create systems of enormous complexity, but it takes wisdom to determine which ones are worth the trouble."

Lauren Ruth Wiener, Digital Woes: why we should not depend on software
Addison Wesley, 1993-4, p.209

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Performance-Centered Design and EPSS

"The biggest single problem we see users having is mapping their goal to the function in the program that will perform it."

Ken Dye, Usability Manager, Desktop Applications, Microsoft
In "Taking Computers to Task", W. Wayt Gibbs, Scientific American, July 1997, pp 82-89

Definition of EPSS: "An electronic support environment that provides on-demand access to all of the resources individuals need to solve a problem, perform a task, or... to do an entire job."

Gloria Gery, Electronic Performance Support Systems. Tolland, MA: Gery Associates, 1991

"An EPSS is a holistic environment that… makes me successful regardless of whether I have or have not ever done this job or task before, and it provides information to me in the amount and in the format that supports both my need and my own performance style."

Janet Cichelli, WPI, "Around the table with EPSS", CBT Solutions, 7-8/1997

"The problem with asking customers for the [software] specifications is that they are not actually sure what specs they need. Moreover, if you do a good job with the software, it will change the way they do their job, and therefore the specs developed beforehand are no longer appropriate. We must substitute an iterative software design in which we work with customers, closely, try to understand what their work practices are, do a very rapid prototype of a system that we believe handles their issues, and try it out."

Donald Norman, Senior Technical Advisor, Consumer Products Group, Hewlett-Packard
In "Defending Human Attributes in the Pursuit of Performance-Centered Design", Gary J. Dickelman, Performance Improvement, April 1998, pp 34-37

"Non-technical employees take 4 to 10 percent of their time to help co-workers solve computer problems. That… lofts the total annual cost for a PC from $13,000 to about $23,500. The factor most closely linked to support costs was the extent to which the user interface matches the way the users thought and worked."

Margaret Hurley, Director of Research, Nolan Norton, Australia
In "Taking Computers to Task", W. Wayt Gibbs, Scientific American, July 1997, pp 82-89

"When I compare how much money is invested in the technology itself versus that spent on understanding social dynamics - how human behavior evolves in these environments - it’s a hugely baffling imbalance. And yet so much hinges on understanding the latter."

John Hagel, Head of Worldwide Interactive Multimedia Practice, McKinsey & Company
In "It Takes a Village to Make a Mall", by Kevin Kelly, Wired Magazine, August 1997, pp 84-86

"… Viewed separately, the components of an EPSS are familiar trainers’ tools: online reference systems, computer-mediated learning experiences, monitoring and assessment functions, applications and productivity software, and expert advisory systems. Viewed collectively through a well-designed user interface such as an EPSS, however, these tools constitute a powerful method for improving employee proficiency."

Eric Parks, "Introduction to EPSS", Instructional Technology, 6/1997

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Duane Degler 1999-2000