Research highlights transparency as a critical requirement for the design of information systems—especially in complex systems where decision-making benefits from a collaboration between humans and machines. However, little research has been conducted on how information systems should be designed to provide actionable information—a property also referred to as useful transparency. We explore this relevant question in the manufacturing context by examining the continuous improvement process of an automated production line. Following the design science research paradigm, we iteratively develop an artifact based on design requirements derived with employees. Using the developed artifact, we study two phenomena: First, we show through a focus group conducted with domain experts that making process information accessible to employees is a viable means to facilitate useful transparency. Second, we determine that useful transparency improves process performance—by observing a statistically significant reduction in the duration of downtime incidents. We conclude by discussing two refined design principles for facilitating useful transparency.
Vössing, Michael; Potthoff, Felix; Kühl, Niklas; and Satzger, Gerhard, (2019). "DESIGNING USEFUL TRANSPARENCY TO IMPROVE PROCESS PERFORMANCE—EVIDENCE FROM AN AUTOMATED PRODUCTION LINE". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research Papers.