The health, competitive power, and even survival of an enterprise largely depends on its ability to understand and harness the power of knowledge workers who are enabled to take responsibility for providing automatic solutions to meet many of their business needs.
– IBM System Journal, SOA Meets Situational Applications: Examples and Lessons Learned
The speed and efficiency of a responsive organization can only occur if people think for themselves and control their own actions. The notion that some central person can do all the thinking for everyone is a quaint idea from the days of the industrial revolution, when we lived in a slower, simpler and more predictable world.
– Michael Hugos, Business Agility: Sustainable prosperity in a relentlessly competitive world
Knowledge workers are required to make decisions and judgments based on their knowledge.
They must decide what methods and steps to use in order to achieve a given outcome, usually by processing information and doing something with it. In some cases the decision making can be automated, but the unpredictability of the work performed by knowledge workers makes automation difficult.
Building traditional developer-driven solutions simply don’t work, because:
“One- size-fits-all” is not appropriate for knowledge workers. Knowledge workers have individual learning and communication styles; they need the ability to approach their activities in the way they feel most comfortable.
Knowledge workers need to respond quickly to constant change. The world of the knowledge worker is always in flux. Therefore, in order to adapt effectively, they need to be able to do things like modify rules without waiting for the IT department.
The world of the knowledge worker is not easily accessible to outsiders. Most of their knowledge is inside their heads – they just “know” how to do the things they need to do and find it difficult to explain to those on the outside.
Knowledge workers don’t like to be told what to do. No one knows better than you do how to get your work done, so why should someone else be telling you how to do it? Knowledge workers are like artists. They want (and usually need) creativity and variation in their work, and often resent attempts to “streamline” or automate their work in any way—especially when imposed from the outside.
The world of the knowledge worker is full of exceptions. In the world of the knowledge worker, things are messy. People like to tinker, to change things. People are unpredictable. Exceptions are a way of life and too numerous to be planned for in advance. This is a world very much disconnected from the world of transaction-based systems.
What is the solution?
Users need to build their own solutions. There is no longer any time to waste for IT to build solutions. The only way to address the day-to-day needs of customers is to give workers better tools so they can produce their own solutions, with as little involvement from IT as possible.
“In the future of work, employees must be empowered to operate at their full potential, and this requires a workplace that has freed itself of unnecessary and debilitating boundaries. It is only then that companies can hope to meet the business challenges of the fast-changing global economy.” –Cognizant, Future of work enabler: Worker Empowerment
This is where Xpeditor on Salesforce App Cloud comes in to help with process management solutions.