Decision-Planning Technology Generates More Efficient, Higher Quality Meetings

Some of the most important work that people do — brainstorming, strategic planning, problem solving, organizing and information gathering — occurs during group meetings. With that idea in mind, Jay Nunamaker, Ph.D., Regents Professor and Director of the Center for Management of Information (CMI) at the University of Arizona, founded the management information systems (MIS) department at the university in 1974, a U.S. top-five ranked MIS department for the past 17 years.

In 1985 at the University of Arizona, Nunamaker made a quantum leap by building the first operational decision support center under funding from the U.S. Army, the National Science Foundation, IBM and others. Nunamaker, one of the developers of “group support systems,” engineered a computer-supported approach that gives people new ways to collaborate.

Using networks, personal computers and software products, the decision-making planning software has led to improved productivity and more efficient meetings.

The innovative group support systems technology resulted in the development of GroupSystems software product in 1989. Licensed to Ventana Corp., a Tucson-based startup company founded by Nunamaker, the company has evolved to GroupSystems, a Colorado company that provides team-based information technology tools to hundreds of organizations that want to help people collaborate effectively.


This story was originally published in 2007.

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