Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Apple and Pears

Several meetings in the last month have talked about how the new IT that will result from recently launched strategies will delete the need for training.

The conversation usually starts with someone saying that they didn't need to read the manual for their new digital camera, or someone pulls their iPhone out of their pocket and says "my 5 year old figured out how to use this with no manual". Inevitably someone says "we should do it the Apple way."

This is potentially dangerous. At one level it's right - "how" a system or, dare I say, App works should be obvious to anyone looking at the screen.

But what it does and why it does it will still need training or guidance. Taking a picture or making a call isn't nearly the same as assessing eligibility for benefits or figuring out the right dose of medicine to give a patient or evaluating the risk of an offender and probation viability.

The App can hide the complexity of much of what needs to be done but the App alone cannot remove the need for the user needing to know what happens when they press "commit."

Mind you, I had to read the manual for my new camera. And yet, still, for every 500 pictures I took, perhaps one or two were worth keeping. I need some training.

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