Providing users a perceived benefit from their perspective is a critical step towards gaining their support during implementation and achieving operational benefits.

In order for users to accept new automation into their work routines, they need to understand why the new system is needed and feel that the system will increase efficiency and/or safely. Users will typically assess the time and workload costs of using a new piece of automation during their initial interaction with the tool. In some cases, the benefits of using automation may not be readily apparent to the users.

Why It's Important

If the user doesn’t feel that the new technology is necessary or if they feel that it is not safe, they may resist learning and using all or part of a new piece of automation. This is especially true on complex systems where the benefit may not be readily apparent to the user. In many cases, the user may not fully realize the impact of their decision to not fully utilize a piece of automation. The user may be unknowingly removing safety-critical barriers put in place by automation designers specifically to prevent an adverse safety outcome.

Design and Implementation Considerations

In order to increase favorable attitudes of the new system among the user community, designers and implementation teams should clearly communicate how the technology will benefit the user. The training and implementation team working on new automation systems should take advantage of opportunities to highlight system and user benefits during training on new automation. Engaging with the leaders among the user group during the design and implementation process can allow users to understand the intended benefits and purpose of the automation before it is implemented. Users should also be made aware that their expected benefits may differ from their actual benefits of using new automation.

Further Reading on User Benefit

Humans and Automation: Use, Misuse, Disuse, and Abuse – Raja Parasuraman & Victor Riley

Automation and Human Performance: Theory and Applications – Raja Parasuraman & Mustapha Mouloua

How to Make Automated Systems Team Players – Klaus Christoffersen & David Woods