Why are some information systems that companies have invested millions of dollars in developing never used or avoided by the very people who are intended to use them? In building systems, the company may optimize one part of a process and end up creating less than optimal performance for the process as a whole. The authors argue that companies should approach system building as business process reengineering and ensure that implementability is built in. They present a case study of an expert system for sales reps at a computer company, show why the reps were reluctant to use it, and offer suggestions for how the system could have been redesigned to solve the company’s problem.
We gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions of Phil Devin, Jonathan Grudin, Ann Majchrzak, Eph McLean, Barbara McNurlin, Michael Myers, Judith Quillard, Jeff Smith, Detmar Straub, participants in Information Science 303 at The Claremont Graduate School, and the editor and reviewers of the Sloan Management Review.