DSS News
                    D. J. Power, Editor
               July 7, 2002 -- Vol. 3, No. 14
         A Bi-Weekly Publication of DSSResources.COM

      Check Guy Haddleton's article "20/20 foresight"


* DSS Wisdom
* Ask Dan! - What are the main differences between GDSS and 
* What's New at DSSResources.COM
* DSS News Releases


Get information about Dan Power's new book, Decision Support 
Systems: Concepts and Resources for Managers, at .


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DSS Wisdom

In their book "In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run 
Companies", Tom Peters and Bob Waterman wrote "We are struck by the 
importance of available information as the basis for peer comparison. 
Surprisingly, this is the basic control mechanism in the excellent 
companies. It is not the military model at all. It is not a chain of 
command wherein nothing happens until the boss tells somebody to do 
something. General objectives and values are set forward and information 
is shared so widely that people know quickly whether or not the job is 
getting done--and who's doing it well or poorly. (p. 266)"

from Peters, T. J. and R. H. Waterman, Jr., In Search of Excellence: 
Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, New York, NY: Harper & Row, 


Ask Dan!
by Daniel J. Power

What are the main differences between GDSS and Groupware?

Definition questions like this one are common in my email and on the 
DSSResources.COM Bulletin Board. Emma Gilmartin posted the above 
question on May 01, 2002 and my response was posted a few days later. I 
answered a related question in the Ask Dan! column of March 24, 2001 
titled "What is a Group Decision Support System?" In this Ask Dan!, I'll 
try to expand on my previous column.

In general, group decision support systems (GDSS) are interactive, 
computer-based systems that facilitate solution of semi-structured and 
unstructured problems by a designated set of decision-makers working 
together as a group. A GDSS can assist groups, especially groups of 
managers, in analyzing problem situations and in performing group 
decision making tasks.  GDSS include structured decision tools for tasks 
like brainstorming, commenting on ideas, and rating and ranking of 
alternatives (cf., DeSanctis and Gallupe, 1987). 

Groupware is any software package designed to support more than one 
person working on a shared task. Groupware is multiuser software that 
allows users to access the same data. Also, groupware usually provides a 
mechanism that helps users coordinate and keep track of on-going 
projects or decision processes. It helps people work together through 
computer-supported communication, collaboration, and coordination. The 
best known "general purpose" groupware products include Lotus Notes, 
Microsoft Exchange 2000, Novell GroupWise 6, and Microsoft NetMeeting. 

Groupware is a much broader category of group support software and tools 
than the term GDSS. In general, GDSS products are groupware. Not all 
groupware products are used however for decision support and not all 
groupware products are equally useful in developing decision support 

For the past few years, I have encouraged and advocated the use of a new 
umbrella term -- Communications-Driven DSS.  The free DSS Glossary at 
DSSResources.COM defines a Communications-Driven DSS as a decision 
support system that uses network and communication technologies to 
facilitate collaboration and group communication. For a 
Communications-Driven DSS, communication technologies are central to 
supporting decision-making. Network and communication technologies 
provide the dominant functionality used for decision support.

GDSS are in some ways hybrid systems with an important model component 
that provide decision support functions and capabilities, yet GDSS can 
only provide support to the group because of the network and 
communication technologies. So based on an assessment of what technology 
provides the "dominant functionality" for decision support, GDSS and 
many decision support systems built using groupware products are 
Communications-Driven DSS. For some web links, check the page on 
Communications-Driven DSS at DSSResources.COM.


DeSanctis, G., and R. Gallupe, "A Foundation for the Study of Group 
Decision Support Systems," Management Science, May 1987, 33(5).

Power, D. J. "What are group decision support systems and how do they 
work?", DSS News, Vol. 2, No. 7, 03/25/2001.


What's New at DSSResources.COM

07/02/2002 Updated Document-Driven DSS Resources page.

07/01/2002 Posted Italian version of "What is a DSS?", translated by 
Andrea Montoli.

06/30/2002 Posted redesigned front page for DSSResources.COM.

06/28/2002 Posted article by Haddleton, G., "Out of Sight, Out of Mind? 
Not any more with 20/20 foresight!", DSSResources.COM, 06/28/2002


DSS News Releases - June 22, 2002 to July 7, 2002

Complete news releases can be found at DSSResources.COM.

07/01/2002 Burlington Coat Factory selects Workbrain ERM solution.

07/01/2002 Bank of Newport deploys FMSI's products to change its 
scheduling approach. 

07/01/2002 Reliant Energy uses Centra Web Collaboration platform to 
support SAP rollout and for online meetings. 

07/01/2002 eGain's Knowledge Management Software incorporates experience 
with thousands of service agents, millions of web sessions.

07/01/2002 New Verity K2 Enterprise takes Knowledge Management to a 
higher level of power, flexibility and value.

06/28/2002 IBM Exec says "Technology Integration Plays Key Role in 
Future Success of Transportation Industry".

06/27/2002 Procter & Gamble and MatrixOne enter license agreement; 
MatrixOne will market P&G’s technical specifications management 

06/27/2002 Adaytum announced contracts with two municipal agencies for 
its e.Planning Public Sector software.

06/26/2002 Colorado Springs Utilities Selects Brio Software for 
Organization-Wide Performance Monitoring. 

06/26/2002 Siebel ERM provides portal architecture with every Siebel 7 

06/26/2002 HP mobilizes management, information and checkout with 
wireless retailing solutions.

06/26/2002 Quiver unveils QKS Topic Advisor™, accelerating taxonomy 

06/25/2002 CCH Enteract selects Crystal Ball to capture power of Monte 
Carlo simulation. 

06/25/2002 Burger King Corporation Selects SAP to Enable Information 
Technology Strategy. 

06/25/2002 Alphablox extends BEA Weblogic Platform 7.0 with full suite 
of business analytics services. 

06/24/2002 Cognos introduces Cognos Finance 6.0.

06/24/2002 Best Software partners with HumanConcepts to provide 
additional organizational charting capabilities.


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