ISIS Papyrus Software

Study Confirms: Knowledge Workers Need More Adequate Support

In general, markets on March 16, 2011 at 8:55 am

Real-world business experience as well as research-backed evidence show that traditional IT concepts fail when it comes to improve the performance of knowledge workers. Yet it is this segment of high-value decision makers growing both in numbers and importance throughout mature market economies. One thing that’s puzzling is why organizations don’t invest in the proper infrastructure to provide them with appropriate software and tools while they seem to be perfectly clear about the importance of such an investment and the impact on strategic business objectives. This, at least, is one of the conclusions from a study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of ISIS Papyrus among 150 process professionals.

Other findings from this study show the following issues prevailing in many organizations:

  • Substantial lack of coordination of data, content, workflow and rules between information systems
  • Rapidly changing business processes
  • Annual costs of process change are twice the cost of initial installation
  • Internal obstacles slow down process changes
  • IT support remains crucial for process changes
  • Overwhelming majority wants knowledge worker empowerment to create new processes

All these problems that cannot be solved by mere process automation and increased governance is a clear call to action for executives because there is a disconnect of process management and business objectives. To keep their companies competitive they have to understand what IT can do to support innovation and creativity and why flowcharted process maps will ultimately fail to do so.

An adaptive approach that defines outcomes rather then predefined process steps is a major step in this direction. It relies on top-down transparency as to business objectives and management targets and bottom-up transparency as to individual goals of the process owners as well as on a balance of value proposition and perceived value for the customer. A technology that enables such empowerment of knowledge workers must provide the necessary authority, means, and relevant information for effective execution. Flowcharts and half-hearted approaches that try to loosen the harness of rigidity just a little bit and leave no room for individual decision-making are definitely not enabling any creativity. On the contrary, it’s at the leverage points of processes where individual skills and experience determine a positive customer outcome and subsequently a business’ success and growth.

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