The magic of effective work management is the ability to link the work elements not only within a planned business process but also within a corporate and inter-corporate environment of multiple individuals and multiple entities.
What do we need to know about our work?
Routing is a blood stream of any business process. Usually, the more complex is the subject of work (work item), the more complex is the nature of its routing. Project alliances form some of the most complex organisational structures with multiple layers of command and constantly changing conditions. In such a jungle, keeping links between planning and execution processes meaningful, transparent and consistent requires very well defined systems and methods.
The absolute majority of problems in business come from false expectations. People plan and communicate their ideas but instead of considering how, where, to whom and when to provide information links connecting plans with associated execution processes, they simply send instructions to the next stage of command and expect the plan understood. Then, the problem comes with the realisation that the plan in fact was not understood but the party which had received the plan thought it understood so it confirmed the plan understood, therefore the party which had had given the plan had thought it understood and so on.
Most of conventional systems serve organisations purely as accelerators, analysers or transmitters without sufficient means of ensuring structural relevance of information in larger context. The opposite extremes are systems with rigid information routing where for security reasons or some sort of analytical outputs, their users are forced to filling in lots of redundancies without focus on true priorities. Working with information systems can become even more difficult when a business process starts rapidly evolving in a natural course of changing conditions.
The various situations have, however, common denominators: certain amounts of capacities, capabilities, skills, resources, parties, interests and conditions. It is delusory to think that those should be selected and driven by anything else but customer experiences, markets or project needs. Therefore a good system should reflect the proportion among the ability of meeting customer’s requirements, achieving strategic goals and maintaining profitable ratio between resources spent and outcomes achieved.
Then, whoever is responsible for distributing work elements within a business process should be capable of providing information in such a way that tells people exactly what they need to know about their work:
- What purpose, relevance and importance
- What priority, authority and responsibility
- What expectations, inputs and outputs
- What criteria, indicators and measures
- From when, how long and by when
- From whom to whom and why