MISSION & STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
Development of the DesignedWork™ protocol by the Humaneering Technology Initiative community is energized by the many direct negative effects stakeholders routinely experience in today’s workplaces.
Early experiences applying humaneering within large-scale people-dependent operations within major organizations was surprisingly effective in resolving low productivity and worker dissatisfaction.
We subsequently determined that it was the unquestioned and undifferentiated use of Industrial Era work design principles and methods for today’s human work causing these negative outcomes.
To be clear, these practices were remarkably effective when conceived in the late 1800s (e.g., Henri Fayol, Frederick Taylor, and Henry Ford) to transition workers from dawn-to-dusk farming and trade labor into productive factory workers.
Questions about the widespread continued use of these methods have been ignored by most, despite the dramatic differences in today’s work, workers and workplaces.
A continuous stream of published articles, blog posts and research papers now report many seemingly normal workforce problems and unmet needs experienced by organization stakeholders.
Here are just a few of the more widely mentioned . . .
INDIVIDUALS report being overworked, underutilized and frustrated with their jobs
MANAGERS can’t resolve their people challenges with the same out-dated solutions
EXECUTIVES need greater workforce agility, responsiveness and scalability to compete
PROFESSIONALS seek new, more-powerful, science-based methods for their clients
VENDORS need faster, easier and smarter workforce solutions fit for 21st century clients
SCHOLARS want their research utilized without depending on self-promotion
INVESTORS want to see management leverage human and structural capital
GOVERNMENTS need systemic ways to increase the economic success of their citizens
If there were just a few challenges or unmet needs, we reasoned, they would have been resolved long ago. But the issues persist, seemingly regardless what stakeholders do to fix them.
It became the predominant concensus of our research teams that the situation would require more than a few tweaks of the old methods. A different approach was needed.
It is time for a new design. And, it is time for a human design (i.e., vs. machine) for today’s human work (i.e., knowledge work, human capital, intangible assets).
We found intellectual support for creating a new design consisting of . . .
1) A new biopsychosocial applied science – HUMANeering – to inform the design and management of any situation involving people (i.e., an alternative or balance to applied physical science – ENGINEering)
2) A new, more systemic and human-centric, approach for work design and management that more fully develops and utilizes both human and structural capital, thereby creating greater economic value and personal satisfaction for all stakeholders (i.e., DesignedWork)
For example . . .
“It is hardly news that many organizations do not implement practices that research has shown to be positively associated with employee productivity and firm financial performance. Indeed, the failure to implement research-supported practices has been observed in nearly every field where there is a separation between those who conduct research and those who are in a position to implement research findings. The gap between science and practice is so persistent and pervasive that some have despaired of its ever being narrowed.”
“The single greatest challenge facing managers in the developed countries of the world is to raise the productivity of knowledge and service workers. This challenge, which will dominate the management agenda for the next several decades will ultimately determine the competitive performance of companies. Even more important, it will determine the very fabric of society and the quality of life in every industrialized nation.”
ENGINEering applies the physical sciences to improve the productivity of standardized task work.
HUMANeering applies the human sciences to improve the productivity of responsive knowledge work.
After many early field experiments and problem-solving project, it became clear that organization stakeholders did not need to learn and apply humaneering’s entire knowledge base. It was possible to isolate specific design elements with greater influence on the work results created by people, even when considered across a wide variety of work, workers, and workplace situations.
We conceived the DesignedWork protocol to provide organization stakeholders with only the essential principles and methods for designing and managing people-dependent work.
It is the first comprehensive solution for the design and management of all human work . . . task work and knowledge work . . . and it is the first application created with humaneering technology.
DesignedWork v4.0 (beta) is FREE to use, and now available for application and testing to members of our “early access” Humaneering Community. The cost to join is only $20/yr, and the first course for learning how to use humaneering-based DesignedWork is available online and completely FREE.