The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

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The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download. There is a long and rich history, with many successes, associated with effective integration of human behavior and performance into complex systems such as aircraft, automobiles, factories, process plants, and, more recently, service systems. Human systems integration (HSI)—as well as human-centered design—is now a well-articulated and supported endeavor. As discussed at great length in my recent book, People and Organizations: Explorations of Human-Centered Design (Wiley, 2007), we have accumulated much knowledge and the skills needed to enhance human abilities, overcome human limitations, and foster human acceptance. However, as with any engineering activity, there are costs associated with HSI or human-centered design.

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

Most would argue that these costs are actually investments in increased performance, higher quality, and lower operating costs. This book addresses the question of whether such investments are worth it. What are the likely monetary returns on such investments, and do these returns justify these investments? I hasten to note that nonmonetary returns are often also of interest. However, this book is focused solely on getting the economics right. Admittedly, the numbers are not all that counts. But, you need to count the numbers correctly. Then you can trade off economic attributes versus noneconomic ones.

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

Understanding the economic attributes of HSI investments is not as straightforward as it may seem. First of all, there are several levels of costs. At the lowest level, there are the labor and material costs of the personnel who do HSI. Their efforts usually result in recommendations for improving the system of interest. These recommendations often involve second-level costs that are much larger than those associated with those doing HSI.

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

At the third level, there are the costs associated with operating the system after the HSI-oriented recommendations have been implemented. From an investment perspective, we would hope that the third-level costs are decreased by having incurred the first- and second-level costs. (Some HSI practitioners characterize these savings as “cost avoidance.”) These reductions represent returns on having made the lower level investments.

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

There may be additional returns associated with selling more units of a well-designed system, such as we have seen of late with Apple’s iPhone (Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA). This increased demand can lead to greater production efficiencies and thereby increase profits per unit, creating a third source of return on investment. The investment situation just outlined is summarized as follows. There are time series of upstream costs—or investments—and then time series of downstream returns.

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

The Economics of Human Systems Integration by William B. Rouse pdf free download

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