Gartner Research

Enterprise Attention Management: An Enterprisewide Response to Information Overload

Published: 29 May 2012

ID: G00229110

Analyst(s): Craig Roth


The flow of messages and content faced by information workers is increasing, but their attention spans remain fixed and limited. Each beneficial new communication and collaboration technology brings along the burden of one more channel that information workers, who are already feeling overloaded, must pay attention to. Accordingly, attention fatigue will be a gating factor for the success of collaboration and communication projects and activities. This overview examines how attention fatigue afflicts businesses and how an Enterprise Attention Management (EAM) strategy improves information worker effectiveness and responsiveness.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Getting Past the Information Overload Narrative
  • Introducing Attention Management
    • What Is Info-Stress?
  • What Is Enterprise Attention Management?
  • What Enterprise Attention Management Is Not
  • Attentional Technologies and Capabilities
    • Pushing Messages Back
    • Pulling Messages Forward
  • Attention Management Model
    • Hub and Spoke vs. Distributed
    • Inputs
    • Attention Response Engine
    • Sensors
    • Data
    • Throttle
    • Human Decision Point
    • Monitoring
    • Outputs: Channels, Workspaces and Trash
  • The Tipping Point in Active Attention Management
    • Key Attentional Technologies and Capabilities
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Select an EAM Champion
  • Take a Systematic, Enterprisewide Approach
  • Publish Attention Management Principles
    • Add EAM Criteria
    • Use the EAM Model to Rationalize Impacts of Information Technology
    • Begin Monitoring of EAM Metrics

The Details

  • Definitions
    • Economic View
    • Neurological View
    • Psychiatric View
  • Interruptions and Multitasking
    • What's the Harm of the War on Interruptions?
  • Standards
    • SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE)
    • Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP)
    • RSS and Atom
    • Attention Profiling Mark-Up Language (APML)
  • Relations to Other Research
  • Attentional Technology and Capability Evaluation Criteria
  • Personal Attention Management

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