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Work That Matters

October 9, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Chris O’Neal, Product Evangelist at Workfront

What type of work matters to your organization?

Every minute of every day you have talented, experienced professionals working for you – people you are paying well to do their job. What are they doing with that time? Are they inputting data or filling out forms? Are they checking boxes?

Those things can be important, but do they help your company advance to the next level? Or, do you want them focused on the work you know matters to the future of your enterprise?

Is doing more, actually more?

Take a moment to consider what you believe is holding your company back.

- Are you not investing enough in innovation?
- Perhaps your company is struggling to fill critical roles.
- Or, you may be slow to deliver new products.

Many enterprises believe they need more – more time, more employees, and more products to grow their business. It turns out that it is less about doing or having more, but to better utilize what you have so you prioritize on what truly matters.

The Reality

Here’s an example. You have outstanding people on your team. They come in and work hard for for 8+ hours each day. How happens in their typical day? Many studies tell us they spend at least two hours of that time doing intense research. They spend more time in meetings. They also spend time on administrative tasks, answering email, and handling ad-hoc requests.

But, at the end of the day, you really only get their highest level of productivity – the very best work when they are in the flow – for a few precious hours. Sure, those other tasks are often urgent, and sometimes even important, but is it worth having your best talent focused on this for the majority of their day?

This is the stark reality that faces every employee at every enterprise. It is a crisis that drains trillions of dollars from the economy each year in wasted productivity.

Employees Know You Want Them to Innovate

The State of Work Study from Workfront provides some outstanding insight here. The study found that 64 percent of workers in the United States know that their leaders want them to offer insight into how to do things better. But, 58 percent of workers say they cannot do it – they want to, but they do not have the time due to the other work they have to do.

The survey also found that only 39 percent of companies actually encourage their employees to put time aside to innovate.

You are might be thinking: Am I not paying them to do this? Don’t they need to make the time to do it?

But they’re not. So what are they doing that is taking up all of their time? This is the question you need to ask your teams now. What do employees say they need that would help them innovate more? In the State of Work Study it found that a third of workers surveyed say the biggest factor that would help them to do more with less isn’t about hiring more people. Rather, it is about putting into place better processes.

That is interesting. It comes back to better utilization of existing resources. This agrees with findings from the Hackett Group that shows world-class IT organizations approve 44% fewer IT projects than typical IT organizations, which enables them to deliver high-value projects at least 4X faster than their counterparts. Talk about better utilization of resources.

Achieving IT Innovation at Work

What is it going to take for your team to turn the page? Do you have to give them more time to do the tasks they want them to? The answer here is yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring on more people. Rather, the State of Work study clearly shows us that we can automate some of these tasks effectively, reducing the amount of tedious and limitedly beneficial tasks workers do every single day and, in turn, free up their time for bigger and better things.





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