It won't be just the satellite/fiber networks that drive the continued globalization of highly skilled white-collar workers, it will be the ability to create virtual work spaces where far flung teams can work together in real time. As globalization continues, the demand for a new generation of technology support for work accomplished by geographically dispersed teams becomes clear.These are subjects near and dear to agility (supporting "people and interactions over processes and tools").
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And the answer isn't workflow... Such capabilities are needed to help a company put it's "house in order" with application integration. But they don't directly support the way people actually accomplish their work.
What's needed is dedicated support for dynamic human-to-human interactions that cannot be preordained or pre-programmed the way system-to-system interactions are. Further, it's the human-driven business processes that are the very heart of business process management and project management. A New Category of Business Technology.
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The Old IT applied automation to information; the New IT applies automation to relationships. The Old IT was about keeping records and transmitting data; the New IT is about "connecting and collaborating" to get work done--now that productivity doesn't require proximity.
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It's not enough to organize human activities around information; it must be organized around the work itself. In the Industrial Age, human activities were organized around the assembly line; and in the Information Age, human activities are organized around information (the raison d'etre for functional management). In the emerging Process Age, where a company's business processes are key to effectiveness, it's now time to organize human activities around the work itself. That means fusing traditional collaboration and information tools and extending them with a complete theory of human work iif we are to build systems that can support the way people actually work, versus treating them as cogs in an information machine.
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Xerox's former Chief Scientist John Seely Brown, is correct: "Processes don't do work, people do."
I'll talk about a recent book from John Seely Brown and John Hagel in my next blog-entry.