March 30-31, 2007: Cambridge, MA


Call for Papers



Original contributions are sought broadly on workplace studies, processes and practices, organizational knowledge, models and metrics, design, experimental studies, tools, and automation approaches for IT management. More specifically topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Workspace Studies:

Workplace studies are essential in recovering real practice and informing the design of new technologies. In the context of IT, the study of people, practices, and organizations becomes even more critical, as an individual worker typically plays many roles, and work is typically fragmented into towers of expertise and geographically dispersed. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Ethnographic studies of IT work in context
  • Patterns of work for various IT processes
  • Requirements for the design of new technologies
  • Issues related to new technology adoption
  • Role and forms of organization for effective work

Processes and Practices:

Delivering high quality IT often requires careful planning and establishing processes and practices in problem tracking, configuration management, capacity planning, security incident handling, service desk, etc. Processes and practices may vary from shop to shop depending on the particular circumstances. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Development and use of processes in IT
  • Best practices in problem solving strategies
  • Impact of business decisions on IT
  • Standards and guidelines of IT management
  • Experiences in policy development and use

Organizational Knowledge:

System administration is a complex blend of interactions among people, computers, and information. Knowledge plays a central role in an IT organization, and it is often organized around towers of expertise. The success of an IT organization depends largely on its ability to put together a team of experts to focus on a problem. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Case studies and techniques for expertise-finding
  • Approaches to supporting communities of practice
  • Relationship computing and role management
  • Studies of collaboration and coordination
  • Case studies of knowledge organizations
  • Knowledge management and training in IT

Models and Metrics:

As new approaches are put forward to improve IT, the impact of new technologies, methods, and organizational changes needs to be modeled so that impact can be effectively measured through metrics. However, the bottom line of models and metrics is measuring for a purpose. In IT models and metrics should be developed for a variety of purposes including productivity and cost analysis, communication and collaboration effectiveness, decision to execution to value analysis, knowledge dissemination effectiveness, etc. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Models and metrics of key performance indicators
  • Quality analysis of models and metrics
  • Techniques for dynamic data collection
  • Development of early problem indicators


The complexity, scale, and risks associated with IT management create significant design challenges. Typical IT management activities include tasks that require dozens of steps to perform, analysis of thousands of entries in system logs, and making sense from hundreds of configuration specifications that are interrelated. Improving ease-of-use by simplifying the system model may not be the right approach in all cases---it might sometimes be better to increase the transparency of a complex system for it to be understood and fixed. Issues such as human recall and recognition, reversibility and complexity of computer actions, immediacy of feedback and presentation of information should be carefully considered. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Design of human-centered IT systems
  • Architectural considerations for user experience
  • Design methodologies for complexity and risk

Experimental Studies:

Carefully controlled experimental user studies are likely to lead to fundamental laws of interaction with complex systems in the long run. In the shorter term, experimental studies will help us understand tradeoffs in designing interaction for systems management. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Models of interaction with complex IT systems
  • Language in human-machine interaction
  • Evaluations of system management interfaces
  • Studies on human error and attention
  • Cognitive issues in complex display design
  • Studies of decision making for complex problems

Tools and Techniques:

Though improving system performance has long been the goal of IT management, manageability is the goal of the future. Toward that end, effective tools that are situated in the context of IT work are essential. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Interaction techniques for system management
  • Collaborative system administration workspaces
  • Visualizations of complex system behavior
  • System management tools for personal computing
  • Script and tool development environments


The increasing ratio of human cost to hardware and software cost in overall IT budgets led many IT companies to consider automation solutions. It may be argued that automation of IT has its own characteristics that sets it apart from past automation efforts in aviation, power plant control, and other traditional areas. Certainly, IT systems that drive business applications today have unique problems and issues, as configurations, architectures, and workloads change frequently. IT automation will have fundamental affects on not only how systems are operated but also on the IT management services offered and service delivery organizations, changing the flow of information flow, coordination points and languages and control. Topics of interest in this area include:

  • Automation/Policy languages
  • Human interfaces to automation
  • Policy-based interaction and control
  • Trust management in automation
  • Human-automation work division and redundancy
  • Agent-based automation and control



Important Dates:

February 27, 2007:
Advance Registration Ends

March 29, 2007:
Web Registration Ends

March 30-31, 2007:
On-Site Registration