Distributed work is becoming increasingly common, but existing approaches to supporting it focus almost entirely on routine, anticipated processes at the expense of understanding how human actors interact to resolve unanticipated obstacles and misunderstandings. This paper describes the Distributed Work Display, a representation of work as enacted that can support analysts and designers in creating the necessary support for effective distributed operational work. The tool emphasizes the information needed to understand the process of articulation (Corbin and Strauss 1993) or working things out. This representation makes explicit “who knows what, when, where, and how.” The use of DWD is illustrated with an example from logistics operations in the US Navy. DWD is compared to other display mechanisms used in practice: email listings, transcripts, and activity diagrams. Based on this comparison we identify the potential value of DWD for analysis of distributed work and design of systems to support that work.
Quaadgras, Anne and Myner, George M., "Distributed Work Display: A Representation for Analyzing Enacted Distributed Operational Work" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. Paper 4.