Home > Articles > Software Development & Management

This chapter is from the book

Moving at the Speed of People

The third major problem with the prevailing attitude toward information systems involves people. Because of the reliance on people to provide the "intelligence" in a system and the lag between data analysis and operational processes, new ideas move only at the speed of people. You can see this problem in the training and adoption lag, the use of policy manuals and intranets, and the prevailing focus of knowledge management on supporting people.

The Training and Adoption Lag

When new approaches, techniques, and policies must influence people's behavior, typically there's a noticeable lag. Explaining to people how a new process should work takes time, and they must take time out from their jobs to attend training. These formal processes take time and can also create an adoption lag. Adopting a new policy is hard until everyone has been trained, for instance.

For example, suppose your company is concerned about customer retention, so you develop a new policy for making retention offers. You might put it in writing, e-mail it to all your customer service representatives (CSRs), and arrange for training sessions for them. If you have CSRs in a number of locations (to provide 24x7 coverage, for instance) or have outsourced them, training might require several separate training events. In addition, you might not want the new policy followed until everyone can follow it consistently. Eventually you have trained everyone, given notes on the new policy to everyone, updated the new CSR training, and can roll out the new policy. How long might this process take? Days or weeks—perhaps months.

Procedure Manuals and Intranets

A consequence of using people to make decisions in information systems is the widespread use of procedure manuals, often made available on an intranet. Policies and procedures are in writing to ensure that a manual process is carried out in a consistent and compliant way. This information is widely distributed, often in electronic as well as written form. Incentives for using the policy or punishments for failing to might be developed to increase adoption.

In practice, however much those who understand the regulations try to write a manual explaining how to make a decision, adoption is limited by the extent to which experts can explain what must be done and by the typical problem that not everyone will follow the manuals every time or perhaps even read them. In addition, relying on auditing and random checks to enforce compliance is an expensive and inefficient way to ensure consistency of operation. Attempting to make sure a decision is made consistently and accurately by publishing a manual is an uphill struggle, no matter how good the distribution mechanism is.

Knowledge Management

The final consideration for the challenges of moving at the speed of people is knowledge management. It's often proposed as a way to capture an organization's knowledge to make it accessible to others and increase the predictability and quality of decision making. The challenge with knowledge management is twofold. First, it still assumes a manual decision-making process, which might not be practical for many decisions in a fast-moving world. If you need to deliver a decision in seconds, no amount of knowledge management or training will help. You must automate the decision. Second, it focuses on managing documents electronically to automate and improve a process designed around paper. Like the obsession with using reports, managing knowledge as though it belongs in documents is limiting. Breaking down large blocks of knowledge into pieces is hard, so linking them to systems that need them, regulations that drive them, and circumstances that might affect them are also difficult.

Knowledge management is not useless in an enterprise decision management approach. Many knowledge management techniques can help capture the information you need to adopt enterprise decision management. The problem is focusing on capturing and managing knowledge, not on operationalizing knowledge in the information systems and processes that make your business function.

Unfortunately, an organization can invest heavily in IT and yet still find that it doesn't have systems smart enough to support it as it moves into the future. The lack of focus on decisions, especially operational decisions, and IT's focus on reporting for managers might be the primary culprits, but the characteristics of most application development have a role, too.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020