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Knowledge Work and Work System Based IT Management

Successful organizational implementation of ISs and IT is today as much timely and hot topic as it was back in the 1990's in the early days of Work Informatics. The role of knowledge work and the human actor (knowledge worker) have increased and strengthened. At the same time the newest ICT offers innovative new services, tools, and ways of collaboration and work. The basis is, however, the same: the purposeful human action by which we create, modify and transfer data and information. These activities are an inseparable part of a multi-dimensional system, that is, a work system. Work informatics defines its key elements as follows: the three modalities of work (one's own work, collaboration, i.e. doing together, and service), knowledge, and change. IT is taken as its own, and as part of each previous 5 elements. The goal of this approach is to gain a better understanding of the work system, which in turn produces more relevant and accurate information for the analysis, design and evaluation of the system. This, in turn, gives prosperous position for better management.<7p>

We well know, IT has the potential to make things better and beyond. But due to complex knowledge work issues, the expectations are not always met: the goals are not reached in terms of time, volume, money, or work satisfaction. Our research seeks solutions to the use and usability problems at work by offering research services to companies and by educating Work Informatics to our Information System Master Students.

Our ISs and Work System Development research projects since 2008:

  1. ESF (1.11.2008-31.12.2011): The first phase of ICT-portti. Collaborators were Turku University of Applied Sciences ja Turku Science Park Oy, and companies Trivore Oy, ElanIT Resources, Fujitsu Services and City of Salo. The customer project process and services were defined, implemented and tested with several cases.
  2. Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation (1.4.2011-30.4.2013) We developed further the contents of companay cases as part of education. Also the roles of IT-companies as collaborators were evolved.
  3. ESF(1.5.2013-31.12.2014): OpePortti extends the best practices from case studies into work-life oriented university level education. The role of IT-companies is re-examined from the end-customers' perspectives. Teams are planned as multi-disciplinary, and they are efficiently and effectively managed. The group of Portti-minded teachers and researchers grows.
  4. SparkUp Portti (ERDF 1.1.2015-31.12.2016) continues to answer to a wider set of needs from business sector from multi-disciplinary perspective. Key areas are IT, marketing and environmental business. The services are re-designed to meet the needs of various stakeholders in the area. The goal is to get the work flow, the process as efficient and effective as possible from the end-customer's point of view. Collaborators are the Brahea Center from University of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Humak University of Applied Science, and Turku Science Park Oy.
  5. Inside-the-Box (ESF, 8.2.2016-31.12.2018) creates a fundamental grounds for SMEs' successful digitalization process. Although the elements of digitalization are familiar (new processes, customer relations, international business), and also well-being at work is included, the goal is in the manageable change process in terms of Work Informatics. We collaborate with Turku University of Applied Sciences, and TeliaSonera Oyj participates the funding.
  6. Salo - connecting things (ERDF, 1.6.2016-28.2.2018) together with the Department of Information Technology, University of Turku. The coordinator is YritysSalo Oy and Turku Science Park Oy local collaborator. The goal is to support quick but effective realization of new IoT and digitalization steps to local SMEs. The major changes in the business structure of Salo region is one distinguished character that we aim to take into account. The SmartSalo association is partner of this project.
  7. DigiTryOut (DigiKoeAjo, AIKO, Varsinais-Suomen liitto, 1.1.2017-31.12.2017) brings m2m experience to new situations. We seek for detailed data on the experiments themselves, impacts on the target system, and the effects to performance. Further, we study the overall impact on the development of business model. The result is new understanding of the experimental IoT solutions impact on the SMEs' business model.
  8. Stages and Workshops for Growth (Näyttämöt ja Kasvunpajat, 6aika, ERDF, 1.9.2016-31.12.2018) takes the viable development of work systems into a new environment. In addition to target group the development process includes experienced and skilled unemployed persons, and students to be graduated. Both represent several fields of disciplines. Work Informatics aims to ensure that the requirements of the created and described new task/product/service are appropriately acknowledged and aligned to the change and development process. Stages and Workshops for Growth is coordinated by City of Tampere and other partners are Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and Turku Science Park Oy.
  9. Evolving municipal IT management - case studies (2016 - , City of Turku). The IT management of municipals is facing great changes due to forthcoming radical changes in regional and social and health service areas. We seek for viable and manageable solutions to IT architecture and IT management.
  10. Company case studies (e.g. "SMEs, digitalization and tourism/Finland section, EU-wide study, Malta/EU coordinated project", and "TeliaSonera - cases in mobile work and digitalization in SMEs", see more from our News feed.

Knowledge Work and Management research produces results that help the organisation in managing its IT in a more viable way as a part of the business or activity. Also, the organization's collaborative action inside and across system boundaries is more purposefully defined. This includes IT service providers, municipals, government, end-customers, citizens, etc. Everybody learns, everybody benefits.

More information: Responsible manager, lecturer Antti Tuomisto (, +358 40 737 1533.

Antti Tuomisto

Holistic and Viable Information System Development.

Markku I. Nurminen

The Mama and Papa of Work Informatics.

Jesse Kaukola

Defender of the IT Management of SMEs. Always. For the sake of Knowledge Workers.

Ari Helin

Mature effectuator. And well-governed. Process.