collaborative technologies do not go far enough in supporting "human-centric,"
or "people-centered multiple-bottom-line" decision-making.
These are for groups that aim for deep participation ("deep democracy")
with a fundamental goal of meeting multiple human needs (not only financial
gain). Human-centric decision-making values and explicitly deals with
diverse needs and opinions. On-line software can display and facilitate
processes and models that support "elements of healthy decision making"
such as mission-orientation, trust, reflection, diversity, transparency,
inclusion, inquiry, reality-checking, and follow-up. We plan to build
software designed to support the following characteristics of group decision-making
and inclusiveness in tasks such as setting meeting agendas.
- An organic
flow between convergent (focusing)
and divergent (brainstorming, generative) problem solving
making follow-through and follow-up; including clear
roles and responsibilities.
and whole-group reflection and awareness ("big
picturing", regular checks on progress and focus, "points
of order" and other meta-comments, post-meeting evaluations).
flow of information and flow of control .Supporting Decisions,
Teams, and Tasks
The OnlineCommunity web software will be designed to help members of a
community collaborate and get things done. "Getting things
done" requires support for three things not addressed in
most other community-building web sites: decision making, teams, and tasks.
So in addition to the more commonly seen tools for dialog and information
sharing, our software has:
support for group decision making. Getting things done
requires group processes that move beyond dialog into decision making.
Our tools support collective participation in decision making.
and team support. Getting things done requires assigning issues
or tasks to focused sub-groups. Our tools make it easy to organize people
into groups, each of whom has a separate area for its dialog, information
sharing, and decision making.
activities. Getting things done requires moving beyond dialog
and decision making and into action. Successful engagement in actionable
tasks involves managing: goals, roles and responsibilities, sub-parts
of tasks, and the current or follow-up status of tasks. Our tools support
multi-step tasks and multi-step decision making processes with sub-tasks.
Murray, T. & Benander, L. (2005). Technology for Collaborative
Decision Making in People-Centered Multiple-Bottom-Line Organizations