Tom Baeyens recently wrote about Personal Workflow, painting his vision for how it works.
I’m a big proponent of personal process. The best software developers I have ever worked with have had strong personal software processes – a method to the madness, so to speak, that freed up their big brains to solve the hard problems efficiently. The best software teams had a combination of team process and individual process that worked well together.
Part of being a professional – at whatever your profession is – is developing a strong personal process around your work and refining it over time. Whether you’re making sushi, watches, coffee, pitching, or software. Tom asks:
What if employees could start automating their own repetitive and tedious work patterns without having to think globally.
I saw an example of this just the other day – one of our team members is using BackboneJs to drive his own personal development process for a web application, including promoting it to the right test environment.
Personal workflow adds an interesting approach next to top down BPM initiatives. Picking the low hanging fruits like that is easy and scalable. Imagine all employees creating their own workflows. This doesn’t require meetings and decisions that take months. Instead it takes 5 minutes to get going. And all employees can start doing it simultaneous. Just like societies require a good mix of centrally controlled government and self-interest initiatives, I think that both personal workflow should complement top down BPM initiatives to harvesting those low hanging fruits.
I would assume that all employees are, in fact, creating their own workflows. When you hear people talking about inbox:zero – that’s a form of personal process around email that they are embracing. The real question is whether the tools they are using suit the purpose.
This personal process and the building of your own tooling to support the process – it relates to a talk that I briefly commented on during SXSW-interactive – Joi Ito discussed this at some length and it really resonated with me. I’ll have to return to this topic in another blog post!