Table of contents:
- Agile methods instead of bureaucratic structures
- Holistic production systems could standardize brain work
Video: The Effects Of Digitization On Our Working World
The digital upheaval not only affects employees in production, but also employees in development and administration. On behalf of the Hans Böckler Foundation, a research team from the Institute for Social Science Research (ISF) has researched what new forms emerge and what consequences this has for employees. Her conclusion: the world of work is at a crossroads. On the one hand, the organization of brain work on a "digital assembly line" threatens, on the other hand, new opportunities are emerging for more self-determination and "empowerment" of employees. However, digital change must be targeted and involve people.
Agile methods instead of bureaucratic structures
"New strategic trends in the employee areas are the transfer of lean concepts from manufacturing and the use of agile methods from software development," explains Dr. Andreas Boes, board member at ISF Munich. His research team examined both developments as part of the study "Lean and agile in the office: New forms of organizing brain work in the digital transformation". The study makes it clear that there is a fundamental turning point in the organization of work and added value in the offices of employees.
The software industry is an example of this development. Agile methods, especially "Scrum", have been used here for a long time and replace the bureaucratically organized waterfall model with its long planning and project times. Software is no longer developed as an overall product on the basis of a specified specification, but is broken down into individual parts that are completed and integrated in short-cycle cycles of two to four weeks. The “Scrum Team” can determine its workload itself. The team members disclose their knowledge and the current status of their work in daily meetings.
Holistic production systems could standardize brain work
In combination with lean management, it should be possible to let even large development departments with several thousand developers “swing” in a synchronized cycle. "We are dealing with a new industrial development model that is being used across the board in the software industry. It is also increasingly being used in the research and development departments of classic industrial companies,”says Boes.
According to the expert, more and more companies are pursuing the principle of also standardizing brainwork, subjecting it to a schedule and making both expert knowledge and individual work results transparent to everyone. For example, research and development departments in mechanical engineering or the automotive industry experiment with agile methods on the one hand, and with elements of "holistic production systems" (GPS) on the other, which were previously only used in production.
The change does not stop at the administrative areas either. The work in the HR and finance departments or in sales is becoming "increasingly standardized and process-oriented", explain the ISF experts. The specific object of work, for example a travel expense report or an order, is digitized and fed into the "workflow"; so-called ticket systems continuously supply the individual with orders "like on an assembly line". Complementary to this, individual elements of the GPS are also transferred to the offices. In particular, the "shop floor management" and key figures ensure a transparent work process in the employee areas.
Content of the article:
- Page 1: The effects of digitization on our working world
- Page 2: Constant stress and justification pressure are negative consequences
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