A very interesting article has been recently published by Richard Collin, who is the president of Nextmodernity in Paris. As it is written in French, not all our visitors may read it, but Richard's take on the digitized enterprise is really insightful.
The discussion starts with the thought that being organized and following procedures is an essential trait of the French culture, not just in business but generally in life. Which I believe applies not just to the French. Many other nations would claim exactly the same, and even the most Anglo-Saxon businesses keep installing more and more procedures of all sorts to follow the ever growing demands of compliance, political correctness, or life-work balance.
Richard Collin is not impressed by this trend at all, and it is good so. He states a few things, which have been constantly criticized by countless opponents of "information overflow" and "work multitasking". Namely, that a) new things happen to people in companies all the time, and b) communication is not "about the work" but actually "is work".
Thank you Richard, it is rare these days to read someone who stands by these statements without falling in line with all those for whom communication is just distraction from their organized and fully controlled work.
And then comes indeed the end of the famous "business process". According to Richard Collin, it becomes replaced by eclectic collections of "use cases", which reflect actual projects and initiatives taking place in the organization right now. Needless to say, those would be different from one time to another. One key productivity factor in such organizations is the ability to understand how the time of each member is being used, what are non-productive activities, and how much time they consume.
We have observed similar effects among the users of our Personal Analytics (go check them out at omnicontext.org). People tend to see themselves satisfied with how their day goes if they manage to spend less time on such things that they did not plan to do. And there does not seem to be any visible correlation between someone having a good day and not being interrupted by too many incoming mails or calls. Indeed, for more and more persons those mails and calls are the substance of what they do and not just some auxiliary or irrelevant actions.