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This Note is based on three separate studies of the ways in which new office information systems are chosen, developed, introduced, and integrated into organizations' day-to-day operations. Those studies identified several factors critical to successful implementation and provided a number of examples of effective and not-so-effective procedures and policies. The studies show that most organizations pay little attention to the process of change once the decision has been made to acquire a particular system. An effective strategy for introducing new information systems should identify needs and goals before the technological means for fulfilling them is decided upon. These goals should not be spelled out in great detail, nor should the steps and timetable for accomplishing them. Rather, the key is to point in the desired direction and be prepared to modify those plans, systems, and strategies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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