It’s an information management problem, it’s not a technology problem.

Humans have been devising information systems for a long time. From cave drawings to the printing press, to the Internet, humans have been trying to convey information to others and hide information from others. The job to be done is to manage information. The products that we hire to do these jobs have evolved over time, but the job has been constant.

The premise of the theory is that people hire products to do jobs for them. These jobs actually don’t necessarily change that much over time. For example, people enjoy listening to music. Over time, listening to music progressed from having to make the music yourself with whatever instruments to listening to live performances, to phonographs, to radio airwaves, to 8 track players, to audio cassettes, to CDs, to MP3s to streaming services.

The job to be done has stayed consistent. The products hired to do that job have evolved over time.

While new technology may give you some new capabilities, the basic requirements of the job have not really changed.

Information has some unique properties that allow it to be managed differently. Most powerful, information can be in multiple places at the same time. This is extremely powerful, but it also creates some complexities that need to be managed.

Information is:

  • evolving over time (what is correct at one point in time, is false at another)
  • non-linear (doesn’t always move in predictable pattern)
  • communicated differently by different people
  • interpreted differently by different people
  • transactional and discrete
  • interrelated and interconnected

Thinking of information management primarily as a technology problem does not address the larger issue of making information accessible to power better decisions.