GDSS ± Group Decision Support Systems

Computer Supported Group Collaborative Work
BAD 64046 Spring 2001 Michael Liedtke

GDSS Presentation Topics
‡ Description of Group Decision Support Systems ‡ Advantages & Disadvantages ‡ Research in GDSS ‡ Future of GDSS ‡ Some Software Issues/Links

Definitions/Lingo ‡ Decision Support Systems (DSS) are interactive computer-based systems intended to help decision makers utilize data to identify and solve problems and make decisions. ± Ie: ‡ checklists/heuristics ‡ mathematical models .

in analyzing problem situations and in performing group decision making tasks. . especially groups of managers.An interactive. It aids groups. computer-based system that facilitates solution of unstructured problems by a set of decision-makers working together as a group. ‡ Group Support Systems has come to mean computer software and hardware used to support group functions and processes.Definitions/Lingo ‡ Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) .

CSCW is technology independent which means technology is not the major driving force behind the discipline. and attempts to develop guidelines for developing technology to assist in the communication process. ‡ Groupware is the hardware and software which supports and augments group work. It looks at the way people interact and collaborate with each other. Instead. It is the scientific discipline that motivates and validates groupware design. Groupware applications are not meant to replace people in an interactive situation. CSCW is socially dependent.Definitions/Lingo ‡ CSCW is an acronym for Computer Supported Cooperative Work. .

data and user-friendly software ‡ Both are interactive with ³what-if´ capabilities ‡ Both use internal and external data ‡ Both allow the decision maker to take an active role ‡ Both have flexible systems ‡ Both have graphical output .Similarities Between GDSS and DSS ‡ Both use models.

software. ‡ GDSS provides the hardware.Why Use GDSS? ‡ High level managers can spend 80% of their time making decisions in groups. arriving at a better decision faster. GDSS can reduce this time. . Applied correctly. databases and procedures for effective decision making.

Characteristics of GDSS ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Special Design Ease of use Specific and general support Suppressing negative group behavior Supporting positive group behavior .

Typical GDSS Meeting Characteristics ‡ Organizational commitment/support ‡ Trained facilitators or may be user driven ‡ User training ‡ Anonymity ‡ Appropriate tasks ‡ Dedicated decision rooms .

document sharing) Different-Time Different-Place (voice mail. chat) Different-Time Same-Place (audio/video conferencing. voting tools) Same-Time Different-Place (team room. screen sharing. bulletin boards) . audio conferencing. tools. email.GDSS Time/Place Environment Same-Time Same-Place (Most widely used GDSScomputers with projectors.

People can be connected across the world ‡ No need for a computer guru ± although some basic experience is a must . software and people connected ‡ Portability .Can be set up to be portable« laptop ‡ Global Potential . they¶re automatically recorded ‡ Ability for virtual meetings ± only need hardware.Advantages of GDSS ‡ Anonymity ± drive out fear leading to better decisions from a diverse hierarchy of decision makers ‡ Parallel Communication ± eliminate monopolizing providing increased participation. better decisions ‡ Automated record keeping ± no need to take notes.

relies heavily on bandwidth and LAN/WAN infrastructure ± properly setup system should minimize this risk ‡ Keyboarding Skills ± reduced participation may result due to frustration ‡ Training ± learning curve is present for users. varies by situation ‡ Perception of messages ± lack of verbal communication could lead to misinterpretation . the facilitator may be a lowerlevel employee who may leak information to peers ‡ Technical Failure ± power loss. also.Disadvantages of GDSS ‡ Cost ±infrastructure costs to provide the hardware and software/room/network connectivity can be very expensive ‡ Security ± especially true when companies rent the facilities for GDSS. loss of connectivity.

develop agenda 2) Participants meet (in decision room/Internet) and are given a task. 5 as necessary 7) Reach decision 8) Recommend providing feedback on decision and results to all involved . 4.Typical GDSS Process 1) Group Leader (and Facilitator?) select software. 3) Participants generate ideas ± brainstorm anonymously 4) Facilitator organize ideas into categories (different for user-driven software) 5) Discussion and prioritization ± may involve ranking by some criteria and/or rating to the facilitators scale 6) Repeat Steps 3.

Decision Rooms: ‡ Arizona Public Service Technical Classroom ‡ Executive Decision Room ± CMI ± Center for the Management of Information ± University of Arizona ‡ Decision Information Center ± CMI .Center for the Management of Information ± University of Arizona .CMI .Center for the Management of Information ± University of Arizona ‡ Portable "Rigs³ .

Their human-factors engineers work at locations all over the world. The manager and the facilitator decided the topic would be "What are the key issues in improving shop floor control?" After brainstorming for 35 minutes and compiling 645 lines of suggestions.´ . But they have these discussions through an electronic conference and final decision making is done with the aid of GDSS (Sproull 121). ideas and comments on how to improve shop floor control. The rest of the time. the manager decided to have ten plant employees. ongoing meetings to discuss professional and company issues. So after meeting with the company's GDSS facilitator. they have frequent. himself. And they meet in person only once a year. A specific case involved a plant manager not being able to identify the cause of problems with shop floor control. the manager found that he had gotten useful information about the issue for the first time. The results were displayed and a discussion occurred for ten minutes.Examples of GDSS taken directly from http://cicero. The manager thanked the participants and was given a printout of all the discussion and results of the group vote (Aiken 3). and two junior analysts participate in a GDSS program. as well as many other corporations. After having a meeting for two hours with plant personnel all that resulted were arguments and bad 1) ³One example of implementation of GDSS is at IBM. initiated GDSS to improve group meetings. They. They would use electronic brainstorming and voting to resolve the shop floor control problem.´ 2) ³Another example is Hewlett-Packard. A list was compiled of the comments and then the members of the group ranked them in order of importance.

Best Uses Of GDSS ‡ Complex decision making ‡ For Large Groups ± a meeting of 2 or 3 people does not justify GDSS investment .

Academia Research In GDSS ‡ 1998 .GDSS and incentive structure (1) ± Group-based incentives resulted in more participation than individual-based incentives ± Group based incentives found to result in superior performance in GDSS-supported decision-making groups .

softwares and tasks. user-driven GDSS users show less satisfaction with the initial use of the system. ± Regardless of the different technical design configurations. .Examining the conflicting results of GDSS research (2) ± Organizations in the global business environment are much more interested in groupware systems that include group activities not necessarily in the same place or at the same time.Academia Research In GDSS ‡ 1998 . ± It is becoming more important to coordinate conflicts and collaborate in work with others in the distributed environment« amplifying the need for GDSS in geographically separated group. ± Unlike facilitator-driven GDSS. GDSS was consistently shown to have a positive effect on the decision making process.

Groups that used GDSS produced significantly higher number of non-redundant. the benefits of a culturally diverse workforce can heavily outweigh the disadvantages. if carefully managed.Academia Research In GDSS ‡ 1996 . realistic ideas than groups that did not use a GDSS. ± Culturally diverse groups significantly outperformed homogeneous groups on number of ideas generated. ± This study suggests that there is reason to believe that.The effects of a group decision support system on culturally diverse and culturally homogeneous group decision making (3) ± GDSS may offer a conducive environment for improving group decision making in both culturally homogeneous and diverse groups. .

For example Email and the advent of the internet has created exponential growth in the use of the computer in the last part of the decade. We seem to be in the primary stages of a paradigm shift. . where the background of culture and tradition which guides the way people use computers is changing.Paradigm Shift? ‡ Early computers were used primarily for computations such as plotting the paths of missiles. the use of computers shifted to more for data storage and retrieval rather computational. computers have been extensively used for communication. Recently. As businesses began to adopt computer technology.

Future Implications of GDSS ‡ Integrating into existing corporate framework ± GDSS brings changes which must be managed ‡ GDSS will incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems ± the software will ³learn´ and help the users make better decisions ‡ Decreasing cost will allow more organizations to use GDSS ‡ Increasing implementation of GDSS with the customer ± Customer voice their needs in non-threatening environment .

Future Implications of GDSS ‡ GDSS may play a large role in the future of the virtual companies ‡ GDSS can help the virtual companies do business in the global business environment ‡ GDSS can help promote a culturally diverse work environment ‡ Telework seems to make a lot of sense using GDSS .

± Decision Task Type ± Group Size ± Location of members of the group .Choosing The Right GDSS ‡ Consider the following.

INSS example ‡ s/frontend/doc/demo.html ‡ Negotiation GDSS Tool: INSS is a company part which sells accounts to two parties wishing to perform negotiations via their software .carleton.

there are supplementary resources which aid the project teams in the course of the GDSS session. which allow the group leader to post files on other relevant information to support the team. Two of these resources are 1) Opinion Meter. which helps you gauge group opinion on an informal basis. and consensus building. idea organization. information gathering. and 2) Handouts. . preference aggregation.Workplace Screen Shots ± Cool Demo ‡ Group Systems offers a collection of software tools to support group activities such as brainstorming. In addition to these tools.Available Software ‡ TeamWave Software . voting.

Available Software ‡ GroupKit .html .Decision Explorer Delphi / Promethee QuestMap v3. and as a CSCW teaching tool.aliah.GroupKit has been used for prototyping groupware.University Of Calgary .com/ http://www.banxia.12 Accrue(decision support analysis software) http://www. investigating multi-user architectures and interfaces.teamwave.html ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ .

com/home.infoharvest.htm .com/html/software_fr.Available Software ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ http://www.htm http://www.logicaldecisions.nsf/welcome/sametime http://www.htm

231-240. 8. 1998. GDSS-Group Decision Support Systems. 1998. H.htm http://www. S. Ash. Shirani. New Directions for GDSS http://www.html 4.ventana. 5.ucalgary. Information & Management http://ksi. Professor Getschmann.dssresources. Distributed Systems.iem. B. A. Daily. Information & Management 33. from http://asgard. pp. . 9.acns.281-289. 6.cpsc.kent. pp. Park. 3.References and Links 1. A. 2. 1996. pp. May 1998 10. 7. Lepore. Veronica C. Information & Management 33. http://garnet. Whatley. ³Examining the conflicting results of GDSS research´. Steiner. ³Group Decision Support Systems and incentive structures´. Paolillo. M.lut. Aiken. ³The effects of a group decision support system on culturally diverse and culturally homogeneous group decision making´.313-325. K.fsu.

January 1997 CMI Facilities .phrontis. Group Explorer 17.References and Links 11. 12.baylor.Center for the Management of Information Facilities .baylor. 16.The Association of European Operational Research Societies http://hsb.kub.html CMC . 14. . for facilitation http://www.htm Contrasting GDSS's and GSS's in the context of strategic change .96/papers/ http://www.html http://www. 13.