The Costs Of Ignoring Usability And Training Issues

The investment firm scenario provides an example of the types of problems that can emerge when the end-user perspective is ignored; however, there have been a number of studies identifying the high costs associated with end-user difficulty with new systems. One study in particular by Nolan, Norton & Company reported by CIO magazine examined the costs of end-user computing over a six-month period. The study involved ten major companies in a variety of industry settings, including Ford Motor Company, Cigna Corp., and Xerox Corp. The study found that the measured cost per workstation ran from $2,000 to $6,500 per year, which included the cost of PC and LAN hardware, software, peripherals, dedicated central IS personnel, and technology and personnel support of the host or server environment. It was emphasized that these were the measured costs.

The startling conclusion of their study was that the so-called unmeasured costs, which consisted of "peer-support costs," averaged two and one-half times the measured costs, or from $5,000 to $15,000 per year. Peer-support costs comprise the time value of non-IS personnel who render guidance and assistance to their peers in the use of applications.

Lack of application fit with the end user and lack of proper training programs are the main culprits of the peer-support phenomenon. As the use of systems continues to extend to a broader and more diverse population of end users, these hidden peersupport costs, as well as the costs of outright implementation failures, will continue to grow.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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