Tasks, not features
I really like this idea by Alan Lepofsky, he’s asking his readers to share things that they need to get done during their normal working days.
There’s no mega business processes here, just the simple stuff that fills most of our time and is often still poorly optimised despite much investment in IT over the last couple of decades. The trouble is that most of this investment has gone into automating repeatable tasks and as a result these tasks largely don’t exist any more. What’s left – and what people spend most of their time doing – is hardly touched by the ERP, CRM and PDM systems. This so called information work is still pretty much left to email, Microsoft Office, file shares and clumsy collaborative workspaces and portals.
So Alan good luck, I think it’s really valuable to think in these terms rather than asking people which features they want in existing products. I tried something similar a while back when I documented my personal information lifecycle practices and an older version here.
This whole topic relates closely to one of my concerns, which is the gulf between an individuals perception of the importance of investing in their productivity and that of their employer, this is probably my best post on that topic, it’s certainly the oldest.