Workflow Management Now Requires New Agile Tools

    The way organizations operate was slowly evolving prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. Businesses were slowly becoming more flexible and where someone was physically located was beginning to matter less.

    Flash forward to today. Out of necessity, more organizations have teams of employees moving more fluidly between projects. The challenge business leaders face now is finding a better way to optimally manage what has become a highly distributed workforce that is typically juggling tasks spanning multiple projects.

    A New Agility Tool

    This week, Apptio announced it has acquired Targetprocess, a provider of tools for tracking projects and workflows spanning a portfolio of product offering. Rechristened ApptioTargetprocess, the goal will be to align a tool for visually tracking what resource are allocated to any given projects with the cloud spending analytics tools that Apptio already provides, says Eugene Khvostov, vice president of product management for Apptio.

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, agility is now the most prized business attribute. Most new product initiatives these days are heavily dependent on software that is now generally deployed in a cloud computing environment, notes Khvostov. Business and IT leaders need to clearly understand in a much nimbler fashion what the real cost of a project is in terms of both the personnel assigned to it and the IT resources it consumes, adds Khvostov.

    “A different level of visibility is needed,” says Khvostov. “It’s an agile world.”

    Khvostov notes many organizations especially don’t have a lot of visibility into various digital business transformation initiatives that were launched in the last year. Now that the initial panic has subsided, it’s clear organizations will be looking to optimize how increasingly constrained resources are being allocated, says Khvostov. After all, it may be awhile before many organizations have enough confidence in the economy to add headcount. The immediate inclination is to try and maximize the talents of the existing workforce.

    Also read: HP and the “Never Give Up” Rule

    Developing Business Agility

    Obviously, business agility is one of those attributes that is in the eye of the beholder. A large enterprise may not need to be quite as agile as a smaller business that typically requires individuals to assume more roles and responsibilities.

    Regardless of size of company, the days when individuals were assigned to a single task or function are over. Organizations are now robbing Peter to pay proverbial Paul all day long. Workflow management tools that make it simpler to identify employees that may be able to temporarily pitch in on a project can potentially make a huge difference. It also affords organizations the opportunity to engage in a little cross-training that helps to make the overall organization more resilient. There will, after all, come a day soon when employees will want to be able to go on an actual vacation.

    There will, of course, be no going back to a time when teams and processes were more structured even after COVID-19 vaccines become widely distributed. The way work will be managed has utterly changed. The only thing that hasn’t changed quite as much are the antiquated tools that too many managers still rely on to manage it.

    Read next: Accenture Study Shines Light on Path to IT-fueled Economic Growth

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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