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Knowledge worker productivity

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Knowledge worker productivity

  1. 1. Improving the productivity of knowledge workers<br />What are the opportunities?<br />Workshop at Durham Business School 17th Sept 0830-1300<br />To attend contact: colin.ashurst@durham.ac.uk<br />
  2. 2. ITDF workshop<br />The key challenge from the recent survey of IT management was: realizing benefits from current systems and information.<br />The opportunity: a workshop session to share ideas and opportunities with colleagues<br />The workshop will tackle Knowledge Worker Productivity<br />There will be input based on recent research, but the design of the session will focus on enabling members to work together to share ideas & experience<br />Timing and format: 9.00am - 1.00pm on 17th Sept 2010 at Durham Business School (tea & coffee from 8.30 & lunch at 12.30)<br />
  3. 3. There are big variations in the productivity of knowledge workers<br />Based on studies of 600 software developers from 92 companies…<br />Individuals<br />The best people outperform the worst by 10:1<br />The best performer is about 2.5 times better than the median<br />Teams<br />There is also a 10:1 difference in productivity among software organisations<br />What if this 10:1 difference applies in other knowledge work scenarios?<br />DeMarco, Tom. (1999) Peopleware : productive projects and teams. Dorset House Publishing<br />
  4. 4. Knowledge economy – knowledge work<br />‘the unique contribution of management in the 20th century was the 50 fold improvement in the productivity of manual workers…<br />...the most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is to similarly increase the productivity of knowledge work and knowledge workers’<br />Peter Drucker1999.<br />
  5. 5. Knowledge work productivity: context<br />Realising benefits from current systems and information was the top priority from the recent research project<br />‘Do more with less’<br />‘Sweat the assets. ’<br />Many of our users / customers are knowledge workers:<br />Lawyers, accountants, academics, doctors, professionals in other public services, senior managers, consultants, IT professionals…<br />Workers who rely on skills and knowledge to get the job done; they have discretion how to do the job.<br />Most organisations have modern, reliable technologies in place (?) But are we getting the most out of these investments?<br />
  6. 6. What do knowledge workers do?<br />
  7. 7. What do knowledge workers do?<br />Attend / lead meetings<br />Travel – to customers, suppliers, conferences, other work locations<br />Communicate – face to face, phone, email, instant messaging….<br />Handle interruptions<br />Work in project teams – co-located, virtual<br />Take decisions<br />Write reports / prepare presentations<br />Do administration – expenses, travel booking….<br />
  8. 8. What tools do knowledge workers use?<br />Pen and paper<br />Phone / mobile<br />PC / laptop / tablet pc<br />PDA<br />Email / Outlook<br />Internet<br />Word<br />PowerPoint<br />Excel<br />Often use email and Microsoft Office for 20+ hours a week<br />Often receive 20, 50 or even up to 200 emails a day<br />
  9. 9. Key issues<br />How can we enable individuals and teams to focus on the ‘task’; the work they do to create value?<br />How can we enable individuals and teams to get more out of general technology / systems?<br />Demo / discussion<br />Then consider eg<br />Individual activity – eg reports / presentations<br />Meetings / committees<br />Teams<br />Virtual working (meetings, teams)<br />Sharing knowledge / good practices<br />What are the challenges in developing specialist systems for knowledge workers?<br />
  10. 10. Questions (1)<br />What business & IT initiatives have you taken to enable professional/ knowledge workers to concentrate on the ‘task’ (ie their activities that create value)?<br />What action have you taken to enable knowledge workers to increase their productivity by exploiting standard desktop and mobile technologies (Microsoft Office etc)? What about:<br />Individuals?<br />Meetings?<br />Committees?<br />Teams?<br />Virtual working?<br />
  11. 11. Questions (2)<br />Who is responsible for improving knowledge worker productivity in your organisation?<br />How does the help desk contribute?<br />How are new ideas and good practices shared?<br />How is knowledge worker productivity tackled in individual / departmental development plans?<br />
  12. 12. Questions (3)<br />How does the approach to systems design / development change when knowledge workers are key users?<br />How do you approach implementation / managing change in knowledge worker scenarios?<br />What are good practices post implementation to sustain / develop benefits realisation in knowledge work scenarios?<br />
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