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Forensic Consulting In Human Factors



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System Analysis


One of the oldest applications of human factors methods is analyzing various types of systems. As human factors practitioners, we tend to take a very general view of what constitutes a "system". However, our interest is primarily in systems that include people, i.e., users, as a component.

We have system analysis methods that can be applied to understand many factors and system characteristics. For example, we can identify the relative strength of linkages among different system components. We can examine the way user tasks relate to various system elements. We can identify locations within a system at which single user-related errors can compromise the system's overall operation.

complex machine for system analysis, click to returnIn a broader sense, we can determine how well (or poorly) a system conforms to the knowledge, skills, culture, and perspective of its potential users. In many cases, system misuse can be easily predicted or, in retrospect, identified on the basis of a mismatch between system design assumptions and the characteristics of users.

As with risk analysis, system analysis is vastly under-utilized as a forensic tool.

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