Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fundamental Productivity through Cultural and Technical Progress

A decent information taxonomy (referring to the concept of classifying and organizing content such as web site structure, web content, documents, etc.) aligned with the proper technology, in an adaptive culture breeds some real value. When information is consistently produced, named, categorized, and published throughout a work place, workers naturally become more adept at sharing, using, and reusing information.

Research based activities are the most obvious targets for streamlining because there are often lengthy windows of unproductive time associated with research. Consider a technical support analyst's work as an example. Here is a person who spends his or her day solving problems for other people. The job includes receiving and interpreting a problem, communicating and clarifying the symptoms, assessing the potential cause, and applying and testing solutions. Each forward thought process towards a resolution is linked and in some cases limited to the analyst's own prior knowledge and previous experiences.

Imagine if the analyst has access to a knowledge base and colleagues regularly publish solutions to their problems to the knowledge base. Day in and day out analysts are solving problems and taking time to write up detailed articles describing the cause of the problem and the solution. Articles in the knowledge base are all formatted a similar way, with an id number, a title, an author, keywords, a description, and a solution. The knowledge base tool provides search functionality which is tuned to allow filtering on a these structured fields of information. With this type of tool available, the analyst is able to quickly parse through an abundance of prior knowledge and past experiences to find answers quickly.

The idea of being organized and productive is not limited to support analysts. This ideal can be applied to a wide range of occupations and business scenarios.

What does it take to achieve hyper productivity?

Vision; a big picture strategy with an underlying grasp of an organization's detailed business processes.

Leadership; dynamic thought leaders empowered to make decisions about how to manage other people's content.

Acceptance; an acceptance of a the current work place culture as it relates to collaboration.

Inclusion; motivating employees to be excited about being productive can also be challenging, which is why it necessary practice inclusion. Ideas that derive from within and grow organically are far more inspirational than any mandate received via corporate email blast.

Balance; what will work best for all stakeholders vs what each individual stakeholder holds important.

Technology; essential, yes, but most companies who are realizing benefits from a corporate portal, knowledge management system, or collaboration web site may already know that the technology deployment is often times the easiest part.

No comments:

Blog Archive