You can’t improve collaborative human work unless you can see it. In other words, you need a means of visualizing what is going on before you can even start to standardize then manage work with an eye to making it more efficient and effective.
For complex, high-level work, this is pretty much impossible without using Human Interaction Management (HIM). Planning and workflow tools show you task sequences but not the team and communication structures that enable productivity, empower negotiation, and increase use of knowledge. Further, task sequences in themselves embody a danger, in that using such an inappropriate means to describe complex human work typically results in either a restrictive level of constraint or a dangerous freedom (and often both).
By contrast, HIM provides a simple, business-oriented way to understand what is going on in a complex, high-level work process, by grouping work into goal-directed Stages, in each of which specific Roles work together in a structured way to produce and share Deliverables.
HumanEdj, the software tool for HIM, provides a number of visualizations. There are core operational views for current Plans, showing your personal outstanding work items and the status of each Stage. There are multi-layered views to provide context, showing the structure of each Plan and Plan template in terms of Stages or as conventional GANTT charts (but with advanced features about which I’ll say more in future posts). There are tabular views of Plans and Plan templates that can be copied and pasted into a spreadsheet. Finally, there are resource allocation views, that show by Plan and by person the amount of effort allocated to different processes.
Many of these views identify forms of action that may be required by managers to keep work on track, either by adjusting the structure of work processes or by re-allocating the people assigned to them. In the next posts I’ll look at this in closer detail. In the meantime, if you would like to try HumanEdj, visit http://rolemodellers.com/get_started to register for an account on the demo Web instance.