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Guidance on human and organisational factors aspects of implementing new technologies

The introduction of new technology into an organisation is not a novel problem, however what may be novel is the low cost and maturity (as well as their everyday use in the non-work environment) of such an array of technologies that have the potential to significantly alter the way organisations operate. Whilst, arguably, the energy industry has been slower to introduce new technology than other sectors, it is likely that the next five to ten years will see more and more usage of technologies such unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), touch screen tablets, tracking devices and electronic permit-to-work systems. Whilst these (and other) technologies are not necessarily ‘new’, in the context of this publication they should be considered new if they are new to the reader’s workplace.

Unfortunately, too often technology is introduced into an organisation simply because it is available. This can lead to a number of problems affecting the use/misuse and uptake of the technology and, ultimately, whether its perceived benefits are ever realised. A consideration of human and organisational factors (HOF) is key to overcoming these problem in order to ensure the successful design, introduction, and use of new technology.

This publication is aimed at organisations who want to introduce a new technology to the organisation. It aims to prompt the reader to think about HOF issues that might need to be considered when introducing new technology, and to direct them towards relevant processes and tools which may assist in the management of these issues.  The processes and tools themselves are not covered in detail as these may require the input of specialists to use effectively.

Whilst some mention of specific technologies is made, this publication primarily provides a generic set of questions and accompanying guidance to help organisations plan for the introduction of any new technology.

The questions focus on understanding whether the technology will:

  • 1. be beneficial;
  • 2. affect the level of risk, and
  • 3. be accepted by the workforce.

Guidance is also summarised in easy-to-use check-sheets (Annex C), and examples and case studies are provided throughout.

How to access this publication

Guidance on human and organisational factors aspects of implementing new technologies (free download to registered users - registration is free - or priced hardcopy publication)