THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE

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Irene reageerde voor het laatst op 1 november 2011

Een DIK whitepaper over: Redefining Productivity in the Information Age - A business perspective on the future of information and knowledge-based work practices and technologies in organizations.

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één reactie, 1 november 2011

  • Een uitgebreid whitepaper over (de opkomst van) de digitale werkplek. Hieronder een opsomming van de voor mij belangrijkste en interessante stukken.

    Het whitepaper begint met een uitzetting van hoever onze informatiemanagement-technologie in bedrijven achterloopt bij het internet dat we dagelijks gebruiken. "That while mankind had definitely moved into the information age, organizaions have done so only in very limited ways." Ze stellen zelfs: "In a meta-analysis of 9 studies on information search-related time wasting, we found an average of 1.1. hours per day per employee being lost in unproductive locating of information, with some of the most authoratitative sources even indicating up to 2 hours."
    En dat dit probleem (veelal) niet wordt gezien door het management. Een quote: "Employees waste significantly less time and company money by not working due to private activities than by working in accordance with established but highly unproductive work practices."

    Dus is het volgens de schrijver tijd voor een nieuwe strategie voor 'how to do work'. En de nieuwe strategie is de digital workplace. "The Digital Workplace can be thought of as the master key an employee has to unlock all the resources his organization has to offer him to do his work. To that respect, it acts as a "fundamental access point", just as a web search engines like Google are the foremost point of access to the rich resources of the internet. In order to play the role of the master key, the Digital Workplace is made up of a number of building blocks that support every aspect of work. Briefly, these components encompass support for processes, personal performance, team performance and organizational performance in addition to information and relationship-specific capabilities as well as cross-sytem functions."
    Want "As research shows, information and its flow through an organization are the single most important enablers for succesful business strategy execution, even surpassing organizational structure, decision rights and employee motivation in relevance."

    "Employees are both expensive and bad search engines."

    "Why current information management systems don't come to the rescue?
    - Lack of a logical, enterprise-wide architecture
    - No clear distinction between tool and business need
    - Immature information management tools (Incorrectly used because the mostly bear no direct relation to the tasks they are to support)
    - Users not educated in information management
    - Not embedded into the way of working (The Digital Workplace is designed to directly support all individual tasks a business is made up of in their entirely. It does so primarily by optimizing business processes and tasks by weaving together the so far mostly disparate process and information flows.)"

    "In order for the Digital Workplace to be effective, it cannot stop at merely being a combination of existing tools that are being brought together under the umbrella of a portal. Instead it has to be enhanced by:
    - Pieces of the puzzle thus far missing (e.g. functionality not available to its audiences today)
    - Consistent coverage of information flows for processes
    - Context
    - Dynamic and pro-activeness
    - Bringing together the so far seperated worlds of structured data(e.g. sales numbers in a database) and unstructured information (e.g. documents, web pages and rich media such as product pictures or videos)"

    "While technology ultimately is the indispensable enabler a Digital Workplace is made up of, it can only be effective when completely embedded into all aspects of an organization. This of course is only possible if fully backed by management and accompanied by substantial change management activities.""An undertaking of such magnitude can only be started by the top management of an organization."

    "The mission of the Digital Workplace is to enable employees - and therefore entire organizations – to reach their goals by providing the best access to the data, information and tools they need to do their jobs in the best possible manner and with high levels of engagement."

    Work performance building blocks

    • Personal performance:

    "Unlike your email inbox, your Digital Workplace aggregates all information relevant to you, independent of channel, format and source. Planning your workday you might first want to get an overview of all tasks and messages relevant to your prioritized projects before looking through status updates from relevant colleagues, systems and topics you are interested in. Applying personally pre-defined filters lets you work through emails, voice messages, videoconferences recordings, RSS-feeds, system messages, workflow notifications and many more without once leaving your "inbox".

    • Team performance

    Having virtual spaces and all functionality needed in order to fully enable working together independently of restrictions of geography, time, group size and task at hand.
    "As you look at your activities for the next day, you notice that the tasks scheduled will use up more time than you have available. The Digital Workplace instantly presents you with a proposal of tasks that can be delayed or delegated with the least effects upon all respective projects and stakeholders involved. A collegue in another time zone promptly reacts to your capacity bottleneck and in an ad-hoc videoconference you explain the task and assign him with all resources required to do the job. All other team members' schedules are automatically updated and the change in task execution appears in ther activity streams."

    • Organization performance

    Knowing about people's real competencies and interests and enabling them to connect and exchange with like minded peers across borders of any kind is an important step to instant access to the real intellectual potential of an organization.
    "Needing to quickly solve a customer problem, you copy the respective issue description into the “Find an Answer, Find an Expert” function of the Digital Workplace. By matching the respective key terms in the message to competencies, interests and activities of fellow staff and partner companies, the Digital Workplace presents you with a selection of persons that presumably will be able to help you with your task. Selecting the ones that seem best suited and most authorative (e.g. on basis of the roles they play in communities related to the topic), you quickly post the inquiry to these experts. Minutes later you come together with two of them in an ad-hoc conference and solve the problem together.
    After answering the customer to his full satisfaction, you feed back the material into “Find Answers” as reference for future similar cases."

    • Process performance

    If the systems meant to support the processes with information exist in isolation from each other and in isolation from the process (and other context), productivity is severely affected. The task of allocating the right system to deliver the respective information and finding the information in the system is delegated to the person executing the activity (instead of the process actively supporting its execution itself).
    "After a first call from a potential customer, the sales representative transfers the contact data into the Digital Workplace. The system then starts an information gathering process. It delivers everything from industry related information to current news about the client, suitable solutions for clients of compara- ble sizes and contacts that his fellow employees might already have into that organization."

    Generic building blocks

    • Communication and information

    Even with putting as much information as possible into context, e.g. by linking an information flow to a business process, there still is generic information with little or no context.
    "While arranging for a business trip to an overseas office location, news and useful information related to that office come up on your Digital Workplace. You subscribe to that “channel” for the time until after your trip and thus get all “local” information you need in order to make your stay as productive as possible.
    Also, whenever you work on something that has a relation to that location, relevant information is presented as an option."

    • Culture and relations

    "As you take a moment to reflect on how to even better integrate the corporate values in your daily way of working, it once again strikes you just how much your Digital Workplace is “treating” you exactly in the way that your company wants to treat its clients. It’s always helpful, takes out unnecessary complex- ity, is designed in a friendly way, gives you full transparency and offers you a wide choice of services in any given situation.
    By design, the Digital Workplace therefore makes it easy for you to intuitively act in accordance with your organizations values."

    • Foundational building blocks (structures, context & services)

    "Whenever possible, the Digital Workplace actively delivers information that is needed in the context of a current activity to the user. Navigating and searching for information is heavily reduced and limited to situations in which the delivered result is not enough or not enough context for an activity can be established. Even under these conditions, the finding is greatly supported by using the full context of the person’s role, background, typical behavior, current affairs, etc.
    The universal search function (and all other relevant tools for cross-system use) is present in a header- bar that is shown wherever you are independently whether this is in the Digital Workplace itself, another internal systems, external websites or partner extranets."

    ROI
    Het whitepaper sluit af met een uiteenzetten over de kosten die je bespaart als je gebruikt maakt van een Digital Workplace en de winst die je ermee boekt. Ze sluiten hierin af met:
    "An analysis on the return for investment into a Digital Workplace cannot be approached as that for, let's say, a production machine. And while many things can be quantified and calculated that make a very strong case for a Digital Workplace in any organization, in the end it will still take a leap of faith which senior management needs to make."

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