Thomas H. Davenport

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Thomas Hayes "Tom" Davenport, Jr. (born October 17, 1954) is an American organizational theorist, Professor in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, and consultant, who specialized in analytics, business process innovation and knowledge management.

Quotes[edit]

  • Business process reengineering encompasses the envisioning of new work strategies, the actual process design activity, and the implementation of the change in all its complex technological, human, and organizational dimensions
    • Thomas H. Davenport, "Need radical innovation and continuous improvement? Integrate process reengineering and TQM." Planning Review 21.3 (1993): 6-12.
  • James March, a Stanford-based social scientist... is much more a gurus’ guru than a guru to the general public. He finished second on the gurus’ gurus list and 48th on the original list.
    • Laurence Prusak, Thomas H. Davenport, "Who Are the Gurus' Gurus," Harvard Business Review Survey, December 2003, p.14–16
  • Attention is focused mental engagement on a particular item of information. Items come into our awareness, we attend to a particular item, and then we decide whether to act.
    • Thomas H. Davenport and J.C. Beck (2001). The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business. Harvard Business School Press. p. 20
  • Every decade or so, the business world invents another term for how it extracts managerial and decision-making value from computerized data. In the 1970s the favored term was “decision support systems,” accurately reflecting the importance of a decision-centered approach to data analysis. In the early 80s, “executive information systems” was the preferred nomenclature, which addressed the use of these systems by senior managers. Later in that decade, emphasis shifted to the more technical-sounding “online analytical processing,” or OLAP. The 90s saw the rise of “business intelligence” as a descriptor. In the middle of 2000’s first decade, “analytics” began to come into favor, at least for the more statistical and mathematical forms of data analysis.
    • Thomas H. Davenport. The New World of “Business Analytics”. International Institute for Analytics. March 2010

Process Innovation: Reengineering Work through Information Technology, 1993[edit]

Thomas H. Davenport (1993). Process Innovation: Reengineering work through information technology. Harvard Business School Press, Boston

  • In definitional terms, a process is simply a structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specific output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong emphasis on how work is done within an organization, in contrast to a product focus’s emphasis on what. A process is thus a specific ordering of work activities across time and space, with a beginning and an end, and clearly defined inputs and outputs: a structure for action.
  • Defined simply, innovation is, of course, the introduction of something new. We presume that the purpose of introducing something new into a process is to bring about major, radical change. Process innovation combines a structure for doing work with an orientation to visible and dramatic results. It involves stepping back from a process to inquire into its overall business objective, and then effecting creative and radical change to realize order-of-magnitude improvements in the way that objective is accomplished.

Thinking for a Living, 2005[edit]

Thomas H. Davenport (2005). Thinking for a Living (How to Get Better Performance and Results from Knowledge Workers. Harvard Business School Press.

  • Knowledge workers have high degrees of expertise, education, or experience, and the primary purpose of their jobs involves the creation, distribution or application of knowledge.
    • p. 9
  • Ultimately, knowledge worker performance comes down to the behaviors of individual knowledge workers.
    • p. 111
  • Companies should have well-defined procedures for dealing with the planned departure of a valued knowledge worker... Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that most firms are moving in the wrong direction on recruitment and retention issues.
    • p. 197
  • Peter Drucker wasn’t exaggerating when he noted that the fate of advanced economies depends on making knowledge workers more productive. There is no business or economic issue that is more important to our long-term competitiveness and standard of living.
    • p.208

Quotes about Thomas H. Davenport[edit]

  • Thomas Davenport proposes a revolutionary new way to look at information management, one that takes into account the total information environment within an organization. Arguing that the information that comes from computer systems may be considerably less valuable to managers than information that flows in from a variety of other sources, the author describes an approach that encompasses the company's entire information environment, the management of which he calls information ecology.
    • Thomas H. Davenport and Laurence Prusak. Information ecology: Mastering the information and knowledge environment. Oxford University Press, 1997 ; Book summary

External links[edit]

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