Requirements for effective function allocation: A critical review

Karen M. Feigh, Amy R. Pritchett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In this paper, we identify the requirements for effective function allocation within teams of human and automated agents. These functions include all the activities in the team's environment required to meet collective work goals, that is, taskwork functions. In addition, the allocation of taskwork functions then creates the need for additional teamwork functions to coordinate between agents. Key requirements include that each agent must be capable of each individual function it is allocated and must be capable of its collective set of functions, including teamwork. Of note, many important attributes may be observed only within the detailed dynamics of simulation or actual operations, particularly when a function allocation requires tightly coupled interactions and when teamwork (including human-automation interaction) may support or detract from effective performance. Finally, we note that function allocation is a key design decision that should be made deliberately. By addressing function allocation early in design, before technologies and interfaces are created, key trade-offs can be considered and fundamental concerns with human factors addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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