Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Feb 2019

Human Factors of Efficiency

Perspectives of humane factors for defining efficiency

Long before Avanceé was a clear concept, work was a series of support and design efforts looking at problems spaces from a perspective beyond the stated problem. Solutions invented had the effect of snowballing towards more. Some of those efforts kept going long after invention and implementation. Such was the expanse of a past effort that only recently is being retired.

I’ve evolved in these responsibilities towards documenting and creating paperless forms with associated workflows to trim the administrative times allotted towards some member-facing and internal quality behaviors. Over 2 dozen of these forms/workflows have been developed, with a quarter of them in a live or beta state, and two having reached a level of association adaptation and use…

From Workstations to Working Beyond Stations

For any innovation to be sustained, it’s got to to also be more than the parts which make it up. As Token spoke about on their recent blog post, a philosophy putting a system over the individual parts creates opportunities where other efforts may not target clearly targeting. With that effort with a regional YMCA, the target was to improve a system of behaviors, not merely to add digitalization into existing experiences. This had the effect of not only reshaping a core process, but also elevating the impact of humane factors which had been hidden by flaccid expectations.

Human factors of efficiency sounds difficult to explain, but not so through many lenses. Within the economic conversation, the concept of a universal basic income is an attempt to answer the factors related to quality of life and its ratio to available work. The concept of multi-modal transportation seeks to define pedestrian transport and access as the purpose of transport infrastructure, not as the consequence of it. These and several other “topics of the day” seem to define and merit out the value of factoring humane input and consequences to what seems to be determinant states. Human factors are found as not a layer here, but the very floor by which understanding is gained and wisdom enables the best of human ability.

Do you understand the human factors at the floor of the operational and transactional practices of your organization? Or rather, have those factors been diminished in view for others? Has working from home turned from environmental sensibilities to extending the project cycle? Has collaboration gone from catalyst to doctrine? Humane factors can fall in importance quickly if not cultivated. And can even be abused, only showing later in unseen conditions. However, any solution that plans on maintaining or improving human ability has two edits very core factor what are the humane possibilities. Referring again to the previously linked piece:

…not only why revisiting the posture of the Branch Service Manager needs to change in the perspective of technology tools — but why such a change is a service-first attitude which positions branches and their members for the best possible results in a world that’s going to be significantly different going forward…

Suffice to say, the words written over 2 1/2 years ago here are holding through now. However, we can now say what different is. Technological change means focusing on what it matters to be human. We don’t always utilize a clear definition of productivity. But, we do know that if we remove human factors from the equation, the end results become only of metric of what could have been.

Previous Articles: