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3 Myths of Social Work

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Making work more social is the topic of many discussions and there are a number of technology vendors that are providing tools to mimic social consumer platforms in the enterprise.

The aim of this article is to address 3 myths or commonly misunderstood aspects of Social Work. It looks at the real objectives that organization have when it comes to socialization in the workplace.

Published in: Business, Education, Technology
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3 Myths of Social Work

  1. 1. 3 Myths of social workAN XMPRO WHITE PAPERWWW.XMPRO.COM
  2. 2.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 2 of 11        V B 2.0Copyright @ 2013 XMPro Inc. All rights reserved. Published by XMPro.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 DOC/DOC 0 1 3 3 4 5 3
  3. 3.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 3 of 11           TABLE OF CONTENTS3 Myths of Social Work 4Myth 1: Social News isSocial Work 5Myth 2: Social Tasksmanage Ad Hoc work 6Myth 3: Social Workisdifferent to Normal Work 8Final Thoughts 9ABOUT XMPRO 10
  4. 4.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 4 of 11      Social Networking@ Work  “Knowledge workersvalue their knowledgeand would not shareeasily.” – Harvard’sTom DavenportSocial networking isan individual-centeredservice that focuseson creating networksof people who, forexample, shareinterests, activities,backgrounds, or real-life connections.     3 Myths of Social Work  Making work more social is the topic of many discussions and there are anumber of technology vendors that are providing tools to mimic socialconsumer platforms in the enterprise.Business buyers are faced with a number of "Social Work" styles anddifferent marketing messages from vendors on what they need in theirorganizations. The reality is that managing the social aspects of work isdifferent to sharing and linking information on a personal social network.The "Social Network" style of social work has benefits, but only really worksin organizations where there is a higher level of social maturity. Mostorganizations’ initial requirement for social work is actually morecollaboration around work items than social sharing.Harvard professor, Tom Davenport, remarks that knowledge workers protecttheir jobs by not sharing their knowledge and experience in fear of losingtheir value to the organization. “Knowledge workers value their knowledgeand would not share easily.” This is in contrast to the objective of socialnetworking tools that are now finding their way into the enterprise.The aim of this article is to address 3 myths or commonly misunderstoodaspects of Social Work. It looks at the real objectives that organization havewhen it comes to socialization in the workplace.  
  5. 5.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 5 of 11    Myth Number 1:  The need toparticipate andrespond in a SocialNetwork tends not tobe mandated butrather voluntary. Thisaspect questions thereliability of SocialNetworks within the‘work’ side ofcollaboration.     Social News is Social Work  Many enterprise tool vendors now offer social news feeds, streams or socialchatter similar to what is found on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Some ofthese solutions even subscribe to external news and data feeds that aretriggered by pre-defined business rules. So you can now "subscribe" tosomeone elses news feeds or get the companys stock value or overduedebtors posted to your news feed.These are great to keep your finger on the pulse, but does it add to thevalue of the "work" that you do? Do you have to scan the news feeds to lookfor information to act on? Work means getting things done. For this reasonwork should be clearly distinguished from news. Social News is like thoseRSS feeds that you set up. You scan it when you get the time. It is like thewater-cooler conversations that you participate in if you are at the rightcooler by chance. It is great to keep you informed but it doesn’t address thereal social interaction challenge for getting work done.Social Work means collaboration. Wikipedia defines collaboration as “…working with each other to do a task.” Asking someone a specific questionon a specific transaction is most often still done in email. People dont wanteveryone to know that they are struggling with a customer account, have anissue with a specific purchase order approval or are questioning someone’sreasoning for delaying critical clinical trials. You also don’t want to subscribeto your boss’ Social News to see if she is posting notices for you.     Figure 1 - Discussion in visible audit trail.
  6. 6.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 6 of 11       XMPro sees Social Work as an integrated part of normal work. It is just morecollaborative. It brings discussions into work processes and make it part ofthe visible audit or decision trail for a specific process or transaction.How often do you need to understand the collaboration around a specifictransaction in order to take the best decision under the circumstances? Howoften do you have to find the accompanying email trail to get the full contextof the transaction? Sometimes you don’t have access to that emailcorrespondence at all (it sits in someone else’s inbox).Social Work is when business critical collaboration happens at thetransactional level and provides the necessary information for knowledgeworkers to make the best decision under that unique set of circumstances.In this example Keith and John collaborate on a credit check for a newcustomer. It speeds up the customer acquisition time and improves thecustomer experience, as John doesn’t decline it outright, but first check withKeith on the reasons for the new credit check. Tim, the manager, has fullvisibility into the context of process and can make a more informed decisionand in this instance decided to action an “ad hoc” task to address a concernfor this unique case.Social News is important to keep a finger on the pulse but SocialCollaboration is critical to get work done with the best possible outcomes.Social News is NOT Social Work, myth busted.  Myth Number 2:       Social Tasks manage Ad Hoc work  There are many cloud and on-premise social tasking tools that let you assigna "social" task with due dates and instructions. This works well if you havesimple tasks that are not related to any other work or processes. Thechallenge with this is that users get "ad hoc" tasks that have no context andare done "standalone" and not linked to previous actions or steps for theprocess.There are 3 common scenarios for Ad Hoc tasks in the real world and SocialTasks only address the first:1. General requests that have no relevance on any new or existingprocess transactions.2. Tasks spawned from an existing process transaction but not linkedto the visible audit trail of that transaction.3. Tasks spawned from an existing process transaction and linked tothe visible decision trail of that transaction to extend the processbeyond the initial design constraints.The last 2 are typical of scenarios where your current predefined workflow-based process doesn’t have the step that you need, or your case solutiondoesn’t have the actions you require. It leads to frustration and usersbreaking out into email to get work done. This in turn means the integrity ofthe audit trail is compromised and the emails have no notification orescalation rules assigned to them.An Ad Hoc task should be able to support all 3 of the above scenarios.
  7. 7.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 7 of 11         Figure 2 - Ad Hoc Tasks accessed from within current process.In this example Tim has access to Ad Hoc tasks right from within his currentprocess transaction top bar and in this instance he is asking Ted to updatean incorrect customer CRM record. This step was not envisaged in theoriginal process or case design and Tim can link this to the currenttransaction audit trail and shows up as shown in the history in figure 1.Figure 3 - Ad Hoc task assigned and linked to current transaction.
  8. 8.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 8 of 11    Social Tasks that are not integrated or linked to operational businessprocesses are lightweight solutions and do not address the needs ofknowledge workers in real enterprise environments. What may work as aprivate message in a social network environment does not address thetraceability and accountability of enterprise work.XMPro’s unique event-based architecture supports Ad Hoc processes as“real” process activities and can be injected at any point of a process orcase. It can be linked to existing visible audit or decisions trails or it canstart new standalone case instances.XMPro’s process mining capability can analyse the use of Ad Hoc tasks tomake process improvement recommendations and provides insight into thereasons for Ad Hoc tasks that no other tool providesSocial Tasks are limited in scope and will not address Ad Hoc taskmanagement at an enterprise level. Myth busted.  Myth Number 3:       Social Work is different to Normal Work  How many places do you want to look for your work? Do you want anotherworklist to watch for your social tasks? The real question is “do you wantsocialization or collaboration”?Socialization provides a mechanism to share or publish information in thehope that someone would be interested enough to “like” it and potentiallyeven act on it. Collaboration is the mechanism where 2 or more people worktogether to accomplish as task.Social work in the enterprise is more about collaboration than socialization.It is about ways to work together towards common goals and the bi-directional interaction between people that make that possible. It is nothingnew. It is “normal work” as we know it.XMPro supports Social Work in a single user interface that is even linked tonormal processes as shown in figure 1. It is part of the “normal” activitystream for tasks that need to get done. Collaborative discussions are part ofnormal work and are supported in XMPro in that way. Social work appears inthe normal “To-Do” list with all other actions.Social collaboration that harnesses the knowledge of the crowds oftenhappens in business. We ask peers and colleagues for advice and theiropinions. It is normal work. XMPro’s Collaborative Questions allowsorganizations to tap into this valuable resource right from within “normal”work.How would this work? Let’s say the R&D department at a large engineeringenterprise is looking to improve the design of a component that often breaksduring operations. During the course of the re-design (normal knowledgework) the engineer posts a question to a select group that can include somePhds in mechanical engineering as well as artisans who have 40 yearsexperience in operating these machines. The collective wisdom of thecrowds is a powerful collaboration opportunity, but it is still just normalwork.
  9. 9.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 9 of 11         Figure 4 – Collaborative Questions to targeted groups.It is not a subscription model where the R&D team hopes they havesubscribers that will be able to contribute. It is a directed model that targetsspecific people with specific skills, just like you would normally ask peopleyou know could contribute.Social Work is nothing new. It is normal work, as we know it. Myth busted.  Final Thought       Do you want Collaboration or socialization?  We already know that collaboration means “working with each other to do atask”, whereas social in the context of social networking is an individual-centered service that focuses on creating networks of people who, forexample, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections.These are 2 very different objectives and in business the real objective iscollaboration.Before deciding on Social Work tools consider the following:1. Be clear about your business objectives and what role Social Workhas in your organization.2. Align Social Work with the social maturity of the people that youexpect to use it. Should they socialize or collaborate?3. Be careful when selecting tools that support Social Work to supportyour objectives and your people in getting work done.
  10. 10.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 10 of 11      About XMPro       XMPro iBOS - Intelligent Business Operations Suite  XMPro is an Award Winning BPM on the Microsoft Platform, the leader in thenew iBPMS category of solutions and the only BPM delivering strong real-lifeintelligent business process performance measurement and improvement.The XMPro Suite enables value to customers beyond what is commonlydefined as workflow.Our technology provides true business performance improvement via itsIntelligent Business Decision Making (decision support) technologies.XMPro’s Intelligent Case Management, Intelligent ‘next best step’ BIsolutions allow for extensive improvement within case handling processesand offers ‘design by doing’ through its ‘social interactions’ capabilitiesacross a number of platforms, including Mobile.Our tools allow for the development and intelligent management of flexible,process-centric applications that produce a wealth of intelligence across bothstructured and unstructured processes.              XMPRO AWARDED‘Gartner coolvendor 2012’North America10000 North Central Expressway,Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75231P (+1) 214 890 4093UK & Europe5/201 Great Portland StLondon, W1W5ABP +44 (0) 207 268 9810Asia Pacific16/124 Walker StreetNorth Sydney, 2060P +61 (0) 2 8412 1000AfricaA/17 Muswell Rd SouthBryanston, JohannesburgP +27 (0) 11 540 0250
  11. 11.  Copyright © 2013 XMPro Inc. www.xmpro.com 3 Myths of Social Work | Page 11 of 11        V B 2.0Copyright @ 2013 XMPro Inc. All rights reserved. XMPro and iBOS are trademarks of XMPro. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.Digitally printed in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form orby any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the publisher.All other trademarks are the property of their perspective owners.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 DOC/DOC 0 1 3 3 4 5 3This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold [provided] with the understanding that neither the author nor thepublisher is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should besought.Gartner does not endorse any vendor; product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartnerresearch publications consist of the opinions of Gartners research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respectto this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.384569383482012

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