Access to the right information is a significant contributor to success in many endeavors. It is, however, difficult to characterize what constitutes right information. This is an important question for systems development projects, which continue to exhibit a sub-par track record of success. This paper describes patterns of information seeking such as nature of information sought and sources of information consulted in the context of tasks performed during systems development projects. The analysis uses task-oriented information seeking as a theoretical perspective, inferring patterns from longitudinal data collected from multiple student teams engaged in real-world systems development efforts. The results show that the nature of tasks themselves varies for routine versus innovative projects, with implications for the nature of information sought and sources consulted. Some of the counter-intuitive findings include increasing incidence of genuine decision tasks over time; and use of the web for genuine decision tasks versus people for routine tasks. Implications of the findings for practice are discussed.
Srivatsan, Vasanth Ram; Purao, Sandeep; Jansen, James; and He, Jingwen, "Systems Developers Define their Own Information Needs" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 579.