I am so glad I retired this year...
In a sign that interest in process mining is heating up, vendor FortressIQ is launching an analytics platform with a novel approach to understanding how users really work – it "videos" their on-screen activity for later analysis. According to the San Francisco-based biz, its Process Intelligence platform will allow …
Anything - absolutely anything - to avoid doing the right thing:. going to the staff who actually do the work and talking to them. Why should any MBA expect staff on such lowly pay-grades to know how the business really works?
The usual process is to get a consultant to do that; he will charge a fee large enough to make the whole thing reassuringly expensive. Now, of course, it's got to be the fad de jour, AI.
"the rollout of new applications, and digital projects by helping customers understand how people actually do their jobs, as opposed to how the business thinks they work."
How about asking those that do the job?
When we do process analysis, we start our enquiries at the front line and work backwards towards management. That way we find out what actually happens as opposed to just what the "policies" say. We usually find out that the policies are irrelevant to everyday activities, as [a] they don't get read or followed, [b] they wouldn't work even if followed if they're specific, or [c] they're so vague they could mean almost anything.
People generally find out by experience what the most economic way of doing their job is. The only really essential adjustment to that is to ensure it's also safe and legal. That's where consultation and training should come in.
The idea that upper echelons know better than their staff about how to do the job is fallacious in most cases. The very exceptional boss gets his or her hands dirty from time to time and finds out the realities. The rest just assume they are automatically wiser than those they manage.
> People generally find out by experience what the most economic way of doing their job is.
You'd think, wouldn't you? Yet my colleague switches task by moving the mouse to taskbar instead of Alt+Tab. She uses the menu for Copy and for Paste, too, eschewing keyboard shortcuts. What makes it worse is that her trackpad isn't the best.
The trouble is, an employee isn't going to use a better way unless they know it exists.
Also, if they expect that there's little chance of a useful change made to a UI they might not bother to make suggestions.
Using past analogues from the physical world, it's not always easy to perform time and motion studies on yourself.
Requirements first, then top-down, is the way I learned it. It's a little quaint next to agile. Not sure what to make of this latest one though.... "Celonis works by recording a users' application logs, and by applying machine learning to data across a number of applications, purports to figure out how processes work in real life." Translation: We wrote this program, but we have no idea what it does. And we don't want to tip off the users by asking them, so let's spy on them instead.