Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Mar 2022

Work Flows Smarter

The deadbolt has been a long running part of many home doors. And more prevalent in those middle class communities where home ownership and security have become synonymous with the other peaceful and economic trappings. However, as this recent age has shown, almost nothing is immune to being enhanced or disrupted by connectivity. The deadbolt is no different. Modernizing the home must include a “smart” lock. And to some respect, not having connectivity to an entry point is a sign of not moving ahead enough. Hence the gap for companies like Lever, with their Bolt, to jump into the fray and offer a way to stay in this flow.

In the same respect, teams and companies looking to update their operations also feel the pinch of modernization when they realize others’ steps (whether you call it modernization, digital transformation, or simply “working smarter,” it all boils down into similar methods). Taking manual or multi-layered processes, then re-engineering these around the ease, security, or lack of friction enabled by modern software, hardware, or services can enable some significant gains. However, it can also expose underlying or un-communicated pains. Going back to our analogy of the deadbolt - a simple machine now connected can be simple to install. Yet, it’s simplicity hides an amount of complexity which may not be within the skills domain of the homeowner. Modern hardware, software, and services likewise might advance the team, but implementing and maintaining it might be well outside of the team’s abilities, or even time. This isn’t a gap to be taken lightly. The challenge is to work with it and embrace what is possible despite it.

Finding and shaping the ways forward to add refined workflows and connectivity while improving a team or company’s abilities to embrace the new skills and workflows might be required. In some previous projects, Avanceé helped companies do this through crafting roadmaps or process maps containing short-term activities alongside medium and long-term possibilities. In addition, adding assessment steps to look back and see if and how the proposed/implemented changes worked gave a chance for the org to not only “do the new thing” but also see where they could address their own capacity gaps. These roadmaps might also contain recommendations or branches for other possibilities, but none of these stood in the hands of Avanceé to solve. The advancing forward was on the part of the attending team or org; Avanceé simply took the effort to understand, re-engineer, and then communicate the paths forward.

And so a team or org doesn’t now just decide they need a new door, but they also see what having this new lock enables. It might be a new series of workflows; it might be a re-orienting of process and perspective around something a bit more clear; or, it could be adding new hardware, software, or service(s) into the operations. But, they do so knowing that the newly connected thing isn’t the advancement, but that they are. Their orientation, their ability, and their flow. Essentially, they make work flow smarter, and now their environment better reflects it.