only search Cheshire Henbury

Cheshire Henbury's website is structured around several sub-sites to accommodate the large amount of content. Please pick a topic of interest from the above menu and begin to explore and learn. Or use the Google Search box to the left.

Agile Manufacturing: Forging New Frontiers

Main Home >Paul T Kidd > Paul T Kidd's Books - Non-Fiction > Agile Manufacturing Forging New Frontiers Home > Chapter 10

Agile Manufacturing: Forging New Frontiers

book cover

Agile Manufacturing

Paul T Kidd

ISBN 0-201-63163-6 (Hardbound)

Publisher: Addison Wesley

Price: See buy on-line link

Publication Date: June 1994


Agile Manufacturing: Forging New Frontiers

Chapter 10 Introduction

In preceding chapters we have raised the issue of what we termed skill and knowledge enhancing technologies. These have been defined as computer-based technologies that help to make human skills and knowledge more productive and effective, allowing these human attributes to evolve and to develop into new skills and knowledge in relation to new insights and new techniques. What we will do in this chapter, is to consider these technologies in more detail, applying some of the concepts that we have defined in earlier chapters, and considering the conceptual framework for the design of these technologies. In Chapter 11 we will consider, in some detail, an example which will help to illustrate the points that we are trying to make in this chapter.

Rosenbrock (1977) has suggested that technology can be designed in one of two ways. A machine such as a computer can collaborate with the skill and knowledge of our people, making these skills and knowledge more effective and more productive, and allowing them to evolve in relation to new facilities and new theoretical insights. Alternatively it is possible to use the computer in a way that rejects our peoples' skills and knowledge, reducing to a minimum the contribution that our people make to decision processes.

This chapter is concerned with the application of the first approach to the development of computer-based systems. We will discusses a systems design method which we call the skill oriented design paradigm, in which organisational and psychological, as well as technical and financial considerations, are addressed concurrently in the systems design process. Emphasis is placed upon designing the deep system characteristics of the technology rather than just the usual surface characteristics (that is, the human-computer interface) or the organisation. Organisation and people issues should be considered in a proactive manner and not in a reactive way. The emphasis of the design philosophy is, therefore, on developing the deep system characteristics of the technology to fit people, rather than just designing user friendly surface characteristics (that is, interfaces).

General design principles will be presented, and we will use developments in lathe technology to help develop a conceptual framework for the skill oriented design paradigm. Implications for the systems design process and for the role and values of our systems designers will also be discussed. In Chapter 11 we will describe a system that has been designed using the skill oriented design paradigm. First, however, the nature of our more traditional technology oriented design strategies will be considered in some detail. An example of computer-based scheduling will be used to highlight the problems of this approach. We will try to demonstrate, using insights from other disciplines, why technology oriented strategies are often inappropriate.

Some of Paul T Kidd's Books

Book Covers

Legal Notice: The information posted on the web site is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the web site. The information is believed to be correct at the time of publication. Cheshire Henbury cannot however accept any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy and relevance of the information. Information is published with the understanding that publication does not represent the rendering of advice, consulting or other professional services. Specific application in a particular organisation is the sole responsibility of the representatives of that organisation. If expert advice is needed, the services of a competent person should be sought. Please read our terms and conditions (opens in a new window) for use of this web site.

Cheshire Henbury

Address and Phone Details (opens in new window)

Email: Contact form (opens in a new window)

Web address: