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CHIMIT Tables of Contents: 0708091011

Proceedings of the 2008 Symposium on Computer Human Interaction for the Management of Information Technology

Fullname:Proceedings of the 2008 Symposium on Computer Human Interaction for the Management of Information Technology
Editors:AEleen Frisch; Eser Kandogan; Wayne Lutters; Jim Thornton; Mustapha Mouloua
Location:San Diego, California
Dates:2008-Nov-14 to 2008-Nov-15
Standard No:ISBN: 1-60558-355-3, 978-1-60558-355-6; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: CHIMIT08
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Work practice
  2. Tools
  3. Security
  4. Posters

Work practice

Work practices of system administrators: implications for tool design BIBAFull-Text 1
  Nicole F. Velasquez; Suzanne P. Weisband
System administrators are specialized workers and computer users. As skilled workers in complex and high-risk environments, intuition tells us this unique user group may have requirements of the systems and software they use that differ from the requirements of regular computer users. An examination of system administrator work practices sheds light on the system attributes and characteristics they need to do their jobs. Through shadowing, interviews, and a review of previous system administrator studies, we present information and system quality attributes that appear to be important to system administrators. Following a discussion of these attributes, we present a model of user satisfaction that provides actionable guidance and an integration of the attributes. We close with a discussion of the research findings and a call for future research in this area.
Understanding and supporting personal activity management by IT service workers BIBAFull-Text 2
  Victor M. Gonzalez; Leonardo Galicia; Jesus Favela
Many recent studies provide evidence of the challenges experienced by knowledge workers while multi-tasking among several projects and initiatives. Work is often interrupted, and this results in people leaving activities pending until they have the time, information, resources or energy to reassume them. Among the different types of knowledge workers, those working directly with Information Technology (IT) or offering IT services -- software developers, support engineers, systems administrators or database managers -- experience particularly challenging scenarios of multi-tasking given the varied, crisis-driven and reactive nature of their work. Previous recommendations and technological solutions to ameliorate these challenges give limited attention to individual's preferences and to understanding how and what tools and strategies could benefit IT service workers as individuals. Based on the analysis of characteristics of IT service work and a consolidation of findings regarding personal activity management processes, we present the design of a software tool to support those processes and discuss findings of its usage by four IT service workers over a period of eight weeks. We found that the tool is used as a central repository to orchestrate personal activity, complementing the use of e-mail clients and shared calendars as well as supporting essential aspects of IT-service work such as multi-tasking and detailed work articulation.
Towards virtualizing the helpdesk: assessing the relevance of knowledge across distance BIBAFull-Text 3
  Kevin F. White; Wayne G. Lutters; Anita H. Komlodi
Managers of information systems face a knowledge crisis as they operate in increasingly heterogeneous, hostile, expertise-poor environments. This problem is compounded for small organizations. This paper presents results from field research on the feasibility of fostering cross-organizational knowledge sharing in order to expand access to expertise for pernicious problems while minimizing the loss of context, such as situational and environmental factors, that impacts the usefulness of solutions. This essentially creates a virtual, cross-organizational helpdesk.
   In order to understand the utility of such a system we explore how employees' satisfaction with helpdesk articles changes as the source of the articles moves further away from local creation to generic solutions. Our findings suggest that procedurally-based information available within major Internet repositories tends to be the most highly relevant and valued within organizations. However, when no documentation is available from manufacturers, information contributed by partner sites is more effective than those solely developed in-house. This paper suggests strategies for reusing information to impact work within small organizations.


Sysadmins and the need for verification information BIBAFull-Text 4
  Nicole F. Velasquez; Alexandra Durcikova
Traditional usability measures may not be sufficient for some specialized users, such as system administrators. Because of their broad range of responsibilities for highly complex and risky business environments, these users also need tools that are powerful, informative, and credible. To do their work, system administrators need the ability to verify the work they have done. That verification comes from accurate and available information that we refer to as information credibility. This exploratory research aims to address the relationship between task complexity, task risk, and verification information seeking in GUI tools used by system administrators. Potential antecedents of information verification are identified and a model is proposed that addresses how aspects of the task and environment affect the need for verification. Findings suggest that task complexity is a significant indicator of the need for verification information. Armed with this knowledge, practitioners can anticipate the needs of system administrators and design GUI tools with information credibility in mind.
Information displays for managing shared files BIBAFull-Text 5
  Tara Whalen; Elaine G. Toms; James Blustein
Within the workplace setting, people need to provide sufficient access to files to allow collaboration, without inadvertently exposing sensitive files. Evidence suggests that file sharing problems exist, and decrease security and interfere with collaboration. A potential solution for managing these problems is to present the user with clear information about file sharing settings and activities. Current file managers either hide the information or simply do not provide it. Using an awareness framework, we identified the core information that users need to be aware of for file sharing situations, performed two studies to determine how to best represent those concepts as labels and icons, and developed a prototype for a file manager that reveals file sharing activity. The results of these design activities can be adopted for other file sharing applications, improving their security and collaborative usability.


Network authentication using single sign-on: the challenge of aligning mental models BIBAFull-Text 6
  Rosa Heckle; Wayne G. Lutters; David Gurzick
Healthcare organizations are struggling to meet industry best practices for information security as well as complying with regulatory requirements. Single sign-on technology is emerging as a leading technology for password authentication management and promises to improve security while curbing system maintenance costs. While the technology seems to be a simple viable solution for authentication, when placed in context, many socio-technical complexities emerge. One of these complexities is that of the mismatch between the users' mental models and the system model.
   This study was a 15-month ethnographic field study that followed the implementation of a single sign-on system in a hospital environment. It resulted in the finding that the misaligned mental models caused difficulties not only for the user but for the system administrators. The findings also indicate that not only was the user's mental model of the technology inaccurate, but the presentation of the technology by the information technology group contributed to this misaligned understanding. The end result was dissatisfaction with the new technology for both end users and the system administrators.
   In order to address the critical issue of mental model misalignment in the implementation of SSO technology, practitioners must first gain an understanding of the preexisting mental models had by the target users regarding authentication and then use this information to guide implementation of the new technology.
Guidelines for designing IT security management tools BIBAFull-Text 7
  Pooya Jaferian; David Botta; Fahimeh Raja; Kirstie Hawkey; Konstantin Beznosov
An important factor that impacts the effectiveness of security systems within an organization is the usability of security management tools. In this paper, we present a survey of design guidelines for such tools. We gathered guidelines and recommendations related to IT security management tools from the literature as well as from our own prior studies of IT security management. We categorized and combined these into a set of high level guidelines and identified the relationships between the guidelines and challenges in IT security management. We also illustrated the need for the guidelines, where possible, with quotes from additional interviews with five security practitioners. Our framework of guidelines can be used by those developing IT security tools, as well as by practitioners and managers evaluating tools.


IT-management software deployment: field findings and design guidelines BIBAFull-Text 8
  Lance Bloom; Nancy Clark
This paper reports field research of Enterprise IT-Management Software deployments in corporate data centers. The observed deployments were complex, time-consuming and often did not provide tools and documentation that optimally supported IT Professionals' work. The findings highlight deployment work practices and challenges, and inform guidelines for designing deployment tools and documentation that support IT Professionals' work.
Policy-based IT automation: the role of human judgment BIBAFull-Text 9
  Eser Kandogan; John Bailey; Paul P. Maglio; Eben Haber
Policy-based automation is emerging as a viable approach to IT systems management, codifying high-level business goals into executable specifications for governing IT operations. Little is known, however, about how policies are actually made, used, and maintained in practice. Here, we report studies of policy use in IT service delivery. We found that although policies often make explicit statements, much is deliberately left implicit, with correct interpretation and execution depending critically on human judgment.
Multiple people and components: considerations for designing multi-user middleware BIBAFull-Text 10
  Jeffrey Calcaterra; John Bailey; Kenya Freeman Oduor
Despite some signs of success, there is still a long way to go in addressing the growing complexity-management gap in middleware systems. One issue that can create complexity for users is a mismatch between tasks in multi-person environments and the task flows in middleware management tools. We present an example scenario that illustrates the complexity of multi-user task flows. This is followed by a discussion of the implications for the design of IT middleware management tools.
Understanding the challenges faced during the management of data mining models BIBAFull-Text 11
  Jhilmil Jain; Ismail Ari; Jun Li
While the IT industry is moving forward with service-based solutions, they have left behind critical processes and soft IT assets unmanaged, especially at the intersection of business processes with Business Intelligence (BI). In this paper, we describe the challenges faced by model developers (or statisticians) and business analysts while managing data mining model assets of an organization that supports business processes in making real-time decisions and forecasts.
Designing dashboards for managing model lifecycle BIBAFull-Text 12
  Jhilmil Jain; Ismail Ari; Jun Li
Data mining is being extensively used for analysis of large data collections. While there is previous work on dashboard support for visual mining of the data, there is little or no work on dashboard support for managing the lifecycle (e.g. health) of the data mining models themselves. Issues such as quick performance decay, large scale deployments, collaborative use, and real-time business integration of models necessitate this type of support. In this paper, based on a year long study, we first describe the six stages of the model lifecycle and the preliminary design of the backend system that helps users manage mining models. Next, we discuss the three dimensions to be considered for dashboard visualization of the model lifecycle: introspection, customization, and presentation.
Analysing a workflow management system: three levels of failure BIBAFull-Text 13
  Tom Gross; Samuli Pekkola
In this paper we report on a case study of the introduction of a workflow management system for travel management in a higher education organisation. We identify and reflect on the change of the process induced by the system, the functionality of the system, and the usability of the system. Combined with a socio-technical perspective, our findings provide a checklist for systems designers.
System administrator teamwork: evidence from the SAGE salary survey BIBAFull-Text 14
  Eben M. Haber
System administrators (sysadmins) are a critical population of computer users: they use a wide variety of administration tools to maintain the computer infrastructure on which modern society depends. The design of appropriate administration tools relies on accurate information about sysadmins and their work, yet studies to date collecting this information have been qualitative. In this paper I examine a quantitative source of information about system administrators: the annual SAGE salary survey. The primary focus of the survey is collecting salary and benefits information, so that administrators can compare their compensation with others in similar circumstances. In this poster I do further analysis of the SAGE data from 2002 through 2006, investigating correlations that were not part of the SAGE reports. In particular, I examine evidence for teamwork among administrators, and find evidence for sysadmins working in teams in companies of all sizes.