It is nice to be back at the office with loads of impressions and ideas after a fantastic week of field work at a National Situation Room at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) in Karlstad.
The field studies are a direct consequence of the insightful workshops hosted by JRCC/ Ispra with Tom de Groeve and his team of researchers, where these workshops during 2013 and 2014 provided me the network necessary to make the field studies possible. So, thank you Tom!
Another group of researchers that have had significant inspiration for me during the field studies are Kees Boersma and Jeroen Wolbers with their provocative yet constructive way of discussing the consequences of applying a too strong command and control management model instead of exploring other possibilities that might be more feasible, or could open up for new design perspectives. Thanks Kees and Jeroen!
From a system support point of view, it is fascinating to see how little traditional command center work that is evident in a situation room. My conclusion from the field studies are that we probably have new category of solutions waiting to be designed if we truly would like to further support the work in situation rooms. Solutions that are based on a command center idea will likely fail to support and extend situation room work practices.
Since situation rooms is an interesting socio-technical setting for authorities on national levels, but also an environment and a way of working that we also see traces of on regional and even local levels. One could assume that the new category of solutions that target situation room work, might be of general interest rather than being specific for a very limited group of people.
As one might realize at this point of this blog post, the field studies were great and provided a material that is truly inspiring to start analyzing. So, lastly, thank you all at MSB for the welcoming atmosphere and openness.