Information use of service technicians in difficult cases
We have undertaken a detailed study of technicians' everyday work, and have discovered two distinct types of information use, reflecting two different problem-solving practices. The less frequently used problem-solving practice is instruction following, where technicians follow company-documented Repair Analysis Procedures (RAPs). The second, more common practice is gleaning, where the information is gathered from many sources, including other technicians and informal tips, which are documents written by technicians describing their invented solutions to hard service problems. We describe how the affordances of systems can affect these processes.
Yamauchi, Y. ; Whalen, J. ; Bobrow, D. G. Information use of service technicians in difficult cases. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2003); 2003 April 5-10; Fort Lauderdale; FL. NY: ACM; 2003; 81-88.