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Geneviève Dubé, Chelsea Kramer, François Vachon, & Sébastien Tremblay. (2011). Measuring the impact of a collaborative planning support system on crisis management. In E. Portela L. S. M.A. Santos (Ed.), 8th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management: From Early-Warning Systems to Preparedness and Training, ISCRAM 2011. Lisbon: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: Crisis management (CM) is an aspect of command and control characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and severe time pressure. To address these challenges, CM teams can use collaborative work support systems (CWSS) to help plan their intervention and coordination activities. However, the use of CWSS is not necessarily beneficial and in some cases, can impede more than augment performance. Hence, it is essential to understand the impact of a CWSS on team performance and CM teamwork. We have developed a methodology to assess the effectiveness of CWSS by comparing the use of an interactive Smartboard with that of a traditional topographic map during team planning activities. To do so, a dynamic CM situation is simulated using a forest firefighting functional simulation – the C3Fire microworld. We compared two groups of participants on the basis of performance, communication, coordination efficiency, and planning quality. Based on a preliminary analysis, in comparison to maps, the use of a CWSS seems to be beneficial to planning activities and CM coordination. At this point the main contribution of the current on-going project is to provide a method and metrics for the objective assessment of new technology in the context of CM.