Citrix Developer Solutions Podcast
Season 2 Episode 7- "Human Centered Workflow Design" - Citrix Converge 2021 Presentation
This podcast is the audio from Gil Roberts' speaking session titled "Human Centered Workflow Design" where he covers. This presentation was given during the Citrix Converge 2021 developer conference.
NOTE: This episode does not contain the traditional show introduction and the talk will just begin.
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Hello, everyone. Gil Roberts here, Rick bridge consulting. Thank you for attending my speaking session. Uh, we're going to be talking about human centered workflow design, how you can implement that in your practice or your business. If you're a client, my name's Gil Roberts, as I said, I'm the partner and director of operations here at brick bridge consulting. I'm also the podcast host of the Citrix developer solutions podcast, which is available on all the podcast platforms. Or you can reach us at Twitter at, at brick Ridge consults or repeat consults and brick bridge consulting.com. So a little bit about me. We started brick Ridge consulting in 2016 and one of the original partners and founder, as well as the current operations director. I have an MBA in entrepreneurship. I'm a CCSP of course, and Microsoft certified, who is brick bridge. As I stated, we were founded in 2016. We're located here in Louisville, Kentucky, uh, bridge bridge partners with innovative organizations, both public and private, um, to be able to bring world-class enterprise solutions via a lot of Citrix platforms. Uh, we do have a Citrix practice. Our Citrix practice is around the SAS portfolio. So we're a little bit of a different Citrix partner where we, we do some virtualization. We don't really do too much networking, but we really hone in right there on that SAS portfolio. Also, uh, we do a lot of developer content for the Citrix partner ecosystem. Um, mentioned the podcast. We also do a lot of videos. Uh, and many of you probably have heard of us, uh, because of our hack-a-thon wins, uh, over the last couple of years. Uh, so definitely check us out at our YouTube channel and on our podcast, uh, to view some of that content, um, with that our services are as such, uh, we really do a lot of SAS implementation. So that's Podio systems. That's how we got started. And that's what we did mainly for a long time. Uh, but we have, um, a lot of C-sharp developers on staff. So we have, uh, 18, uh, developers. So we do a lot of API, fully custom coated API integrations, uh, for the Citrix portfolio, but also, uh, other SAS platforms, particularly bringing them into the Citrix ecosystem, uh, for workflow solutions. We do some virtual desktop infrastructure, remote application delivery. Uh, we also do AWS development. We're an AWS shop on top of being a Citrix shop. Uh, so we, we do a lot of custom C-sharp, uh, PHP Python, uh, builds, uh, around that AWS suite of products. We also do, uh, hosting of a lot of Atlanta functions, which are really great for the Citrix SAS platforms. Lastly, we're an Aero partner, uh, arrow ECS is our distributor. We do Citrix licensing, content collaboration, virtual desktops, all those kinds of things, glove by gel. Uh, so shout out to them, uh, for their, uh, innovative, thin client hardware. All right, let's dive right into it. So we all have a big problem. Uh, the biggest problem that we have, uh, here in 2021 and beyond,Speaker 2:
Uh, is the nature of remote work. So the nature of remote work has changed a lot of different industries on how they execute, uh, with their employees and the experience of those employees. So down here on the, uh, blue arrow, remote work, do you trust what your reports are doing? Are they doing work in a traditional, you know, middle level managers would want to understand and be able to like see the bodies in the seats? Uh, so those, um, that might, might be a little paranoid that people are working from home. Maybe they're doing dishes, maybe they're watching out for their kids. Uh, that's a real thing. Um, it also decreases a lot of one-on-one time. That's a big problem, as well as how do you promote wellbeing and keep people motivated and engaged when we're, you know, at a home office or sitting on their couch, getting their work done, how do you, how do you keep them from falling into ruts? There's also a compounding sass problem. Uh, they're, they're working from home. They may be on a managed device. They may not be on a managed device. Um, and there's all a SAS softwares anyway, that, that we got to work with or deal with. So, you know, how many browser tabs does everybody have open? And you heard a lot of Citrix messaging. This is a very similar along that line. We like to focus in on the number of clicks to get, just to get through a task. How many browser tabs do we have to go through? How many different, uh, SAS pieces of software we have to have passwords for? How many clicks does it take? Now I know a click is just like a second or two, but ultimately the more clicks there are, the more the human being has to remember to get through all those. So if you have a business process, that's multi chained, um, that introduces a lot of, uh, possibility for human error. So we want to make sure that we look at the number of clicks. Also, how many systems are you in? You know, do you really need to do one thing occasionally insistence that you were trained on two years ago? That's a question we'd like to ask. You know, training in general statistics are, as people really only get about 80% during training and only remember 20%, two weeks later, training's not cheap, especially when you're rolling out new SAS softwares, uh, there's an investment in training. You got to pull people off production, whatever that means to you. Um, you know, there's tickets and passwords and it's just a lot of stuff. So a lot of times people get this during their new hire phase. You know, they're getting, there's a lot being thrown out there trying to figure out the job. And then there's all these systems. So, you know, you throw that in. You've got new employees that are starting out on remote work. It's been over a year now. Well, over a year, year and a half going into two years. Geez. Um, what does that look like for them? They're there, they're at home. There's no people to look around when they're doing their training. They're not going to remember a lot of it. Anyway, one fifth of it's going to be retained. What are you doing? You know, especially maybe something two years down the road, um, could be, if you're a manager or an executive, you might only touch that system once or twice a year. Um, you know, what, what are we doing here? So when we look at these things, w we want to understand, like, what's, what's get some mirror time with ourselves and try to understand who the human being is actually doing the work. You know, a lot of, a lot of work being done. It is being done by software. It's not being done by human beings. A lot of, a lot of the stuff, you know, that productivity waves come through. And w we need to understand that human beings are well first off expensive. They require wages and PTO and vacations, and they get sick and they have children. They're going leave. There's, they're very expensive elements of business, sometimes the biggest expense in business. So why are we doing this to people, right? Why are we training them on stuff that they're not going to use? Why, why are we trying to micromanage them? And no human being likes that, you know, why, why aren't we giving them the support that they need? Why are we throwing like 70 pieces of software in front of their face? Just doesn't make a lot of sense anymore. Uh, and especially when you send her that into remote work, it's just a really hard narrative to continue to believe. So here at brick bridge, what we, what we've implemented is human centered design. I know human centric designs out there. We call it human centered. You're going to see a lot of parallels, but we start with that human interaction layer. There's a human being, you know, they have wants and needs and desires. And they're sitting on the other side of the screen and the keyboard they're working for you. And you're paying them if your salary or hourly, you know, they're being renumerated. And, uh, you know, that's like a meter and a taxi it's it's running, so let's help them help you. Uh, and the first thing we need to do is kind of like, you know, what, what should they be actually doing? What's actual values that holding the chair down? I don't think so. What, what actual value is, is be delivering creative and value, added thinking, solving the problems that are necessary to drive the business, handling exceptions. So offers doing a lot. We just talked about that, but sometimes there's exceptions to the process that need to be handled. That probably has to go by a human being, maybe even a managerial human being, if somebody needs to sign off of it and human beings make decisions in context, software is going to make decisions based on a set of rules. Human beings are going to understand those rules, but they're also going to make that in context. That's why you pay them, ultimately, because otherwise software could just do it, right, but let's be quite honest. And we don't want to burden the human being. And this is important slide. So I'm gonna spend some time on it. We don't wanna burden a human being with a zillion tabs, multi click have to remember everything. Whether kids, you know, and remote work, kids run around in the background, right? I have a toddler. I know how it works. And you dismiss stuff. Why put the gotchas in there, right? It just let's just give them what they need to get the job done so that you get the value based on what they should be doing. So having a dashboard, a single place for workers to access everything that they need to pay attention to and, and bring the work to them. The third is the automations with staff, with the busy work. It's 2020. It needs the end people just because there's eight hours in a shift, doesn't mean that, that people want to do three hours of actual work in five hours of looking busy or doing paperwork. I come from the nonprofit industry. I spent more time on the paperwork and actually fulfilling the mission. And it's just not why, right? Why now I understand that KPIs need to be tracked. You know, there's, there's beans to be counted boxes to be checked, but let's see what we can do to severely limit that. Right? We want to cut that out as much as possible. We want people on creative task, which is the longterm value. Yes, KPI tracking is great for short term value, but what's the long-term value. And that's what we want to look at. As, as creative that's, what's going to give companies strategic advantages. Ultimately, it's that creative thinking, thinking many moves ahead and creating value, um, as a part of their job. And that's creative work, it's fulfilling work fourth, and this is like a cake. It's like a layer cake. When we look through these solutions integrations, let's kill the tabs. At this point, you know, automations will, will kill some of them. And then also do do the paperwork and things we just discussed. But what's, let's try to tie these systems together as much as possible, no more hassle of switching, because you got to do this and this process, that, and that process. Now, look, I, I, I understand it. Can't be all eliminated hopefully in the future. It can, but what we can do is reduce it as much as possible. You know, if you've got four pieces of SAS software, or, you know, some companies software that's old and sitting on a piece of metal in the basement, but let's try to get everything together so that we can understand a better process for that human being to go through. You know, don't stop setting people up to fail with these, with these multi step processes. Without these integrations, you've got duplicate entry and introduces error. Lastly, we want to look at the systems of record. A lot of these SAS softwares have a lot of value to add, and that's not just the Citrix portfolio. It's anything that a company may be using. I mean, let's be honest if there's, there's a lot of different pieces of software that's available for companies to really do a great job and, and deliver a lot of value. We're not going to replace them, maybe eliminate them. Uh, if we can save some money and save some headaches that are associated with additional software, that's not needed, but we really want to do a deep dive down into those systems of record and see what their capabilities are. See what we can do. Them. A lot of platforms are coming with workflow, workflow automations inside of them. Can we leverage that? Can we bring that in to the rest of the process and, and kind of have the tons going through these, uh, business processes that require a lot of different pieces of software. That's the cake that we're trying to solve for the rest of this presentation. I'm going to be talking about how these layers interact together and the way that we look at it from our design standpoint and what we do for our clients. So the first thing we're going to talk about in HCD human centered design is the layers and the components together. So with that, you know, the simplest process path is often the best. I mean, what's the old kiss method that a lot of militaries use, keep it simple, stupid, uh, there's no reason to have complex or esoteric processes inside of our, uh, business. I know some things are complex. There's lots of exceptions. We talked about that there there's, you know, it's not so simple stamp widget, roll downline, sell customer, right? I get that. But when we're involving human beings, we, we really want to keep the process simple so that when there is complexity introduced, that is what they're paying attention to is the complexity. That's why you pay them for the brain, right? And otherwise you just buy more processors. So we, we want everything out of the way until we run into what they're really there for why you need a human being. So keep it simple, move it through. And then w what we do is we allow for exceptions, and then we bubble those exceptions up to the human being. So what I'm describing here is you getting out of the way as the designer, and really allowing the human beings to do work, um, as they're meant to be and what you're paying them for. I keep saying this over and over again, it'd be on the test, right? Like it's, it's, you're paying them for a reason. And it's 20, 21. It's not, you know, 1921, we have a lot of software. You're leveraging them, leverage human beings in a way that's much more creative and better for your organization. And the first step of that is to organize their work. It can be divided and discrete steps, a lot of repeating process. And we'll talk about non-repeating process in a minute, but a lot of repeating process checkbox, a B, C, D all the way down the line, Z, Z, however long a process is with divide them up. Executives, directors, uh, senior middle layer management, look at your processes. And if you go to the whiteboard, that's why we got the whiteboards back here, draw the boxes, draw the arrows, cut all the main lines of business down as much as possible into these discrete steps, which we'll call deliverables. Um, in the case of creative and complex undertakings, what we want to do is put that box on the whiteboard, but notated, right? Because that's what we want to bubble up to human beings. We want to notify them in that simple dashboard that we talked about so that they can pay attention to that next. You want to guide them, right? Groom that prioritize it, tell them what they're doing. Hey, if they're working from home, they got the kid chasing around. They got 30 minutes to jumpin before that next zoom meeting. What's the most productive 30 minutes that we can have, right? Like, let's, let's look at that. Think about that as a way to guide them to be exactly. A lot of people were working into the night. They're working all the day. Shifts are broken up because remote work does that starting to happen, even in the regular workplace, people, as they come back to work or are just picking off tasks, prioritize them and go, what, you know, we can go here. You got a meeting in 30 minutes. Here's, here's several tasks that you can go ahead and get knocked out. This moves the ball forward. Even if it's creative task or those box box checking tasks as well. Lastly, automated modernize, workflow digitize, everything. That's possible. You know, the transactional tasks got to get the software as mine. It just get there. I mean, don't force that upon people. I understand that there's a section of the population that they're okay with. That that's what they want to do. Let's get them in the right seat on the bus. Right. Let's get those transactional tasks, the important ones that they need to understand for those creative types in their organizations. Look, everybody has an employee that doesn't do something right. And they just, it doesn't matter. No. Okay. I'll do it. They're not, they're creative. Stop it. You utilize it. And they have a lot more value there. You're paying them for their creativity. So utilize it. Okay. So we're gonna talk about, you know, human interaction. We've got a couple of personas here. When we do design, we look at personas and we, we try to keep them away from the word job role. It's somewhat interchangeable. You might see that during this presentation, don't worry about notes. Slide slides will be up there. So I'm not going to read all this stuff. So you'll get your slides. But what we do is try to look at the persona of that job. Because a lot of times when you hire someone you're not hiring the role, you're hiring the person to fill the role. What is the persona of those people? I mean, you're not going to hire people that are completely shy and have stage fright to go out and get pitches, right. You're just not going to do that. There's a persona there, right? Like a salesperson or our buddy cliffhanger here, he's outside sales employee. It's going to be outgoing. Guess what? He doesn't want to do paperwork. Right? You guys got sales guys in your organization. What would they want to do is get on the horn and talk to people and close deals, right? Let's get out of the way let's close those deals, right. Or Jerry rigs, our it administrator, you know, he, he's the only a lot of tickets. That's a lot of box checking that he's got to deal with. Let's help him get through that task. Or does it pull his hair out, quit and move to a competitor or go to another job or demand raises, right? What's it get out of the way and just tailor the design to that persona. Again, we're going to organize guide and automate their work. You guys can read the notes here, but you know, try not to do the design based on job roles, you know, call center level employee to just go, it's a call center employee. They're on the phone a lot. What's, what's designed around that kind of person. That's going to a be recruited and take that job. And B what they're going to be doing as a human being in the context of that job. All right. Uh, you got everyone here is very, very familiar with workspace. So I'm going to run through this one pretty quick. You know, workspace, Citrix workspace, uh, is our tool of choice. When we look at this, I know there's some competitors out there, similar pieces of software, but workspace does that. They keep it relevant groom and simplified relevant. They know what they should be doing when they should be doing it. Groomed that feed is set up by standard operating procedures. So you know, that the important processes, particularly ones that repeat are going to make it through without any kind of errors, miss drop balls, whatever you want to call it, you know, it's going to get through the process. Cause it's written to that standard operating procedure, let the executives get their hands back onto the steering wheel. And lastly, simplified, right? Just, just get them through, you know, if it's a, if it's quick process great, if not, you know, we've got to get a creative time in here and we bubble that up with an or bubble it up as creative work layer three is the automations. And what our target is with automations is really first off job satisfaction, right? We really want employees that are, you're investing in the training, you're investing in their, in their wellbeing or investing in them with their wages and their remuneration. You know, no one wants to do busy work, stop it, right. Just stop. So that kind of stuff typically for most people, uh, is not very satisfying. So what we want to do is, is use automation to remove that also error reduction, you know, process people. You would think that if you did it a thousand times, you could remember every time in a vacuum. Sure. They probably should. Um, but reality is real. And the cell phones going off, you know, maybe they got a mom with cancer or something terrible, some kind of tragedy going on in their lives. I mean, yeah, they've done it a thousand times, but today they might be having the worst day of their life. And with remote work, you don't know it. You can kind of see it when you're inside the office. You can see somebody having a bad day, but with a new paradigm, it's not, you're not going to have that with, to try to eliminate that. Right. And it's very demoralizing, lastly, product, excuse me, productivity and compliance. So these, you can kind of look together. Productivity is, is keeping employees focused on that long while compliance is making sure that the standard operating procedures of the organization are followed and all that short term information that the company needs to understand his position in real time is also collected. So you got to paradoxical, you need to look at the long and the short term automation helps us separate the two things away when a human being needs something to do. That's short, more short term bucket, okay. With, with simplified and get them on that. Uh, for productivity reasons, let's keep them on the creative task integration. So, you know, it's increased security. Last entry in, um, increased integrity data across systems are synchronized you're decreasing context. The person only needs to focus on the things that need to be happened. You know, the mental drain of all the switching or trying to remember, you know, you think about a multi-cloud process in a single piece of software, and then you had a second one with a multi click and a third one. It, you know, it's a multi multiplication problem. Uh, and, and it might be a simple process, but just the, just the amount of actions required, just make it very complex. It's it's not just the thinking required in a process. It's also the remembering and lastly reduce training. We try to integrate systems away. Maybe you're not getting rid of them, but try to get rid of them from the frontline employees, the frontline managers, if they only interact with a few times, the HR examples that Citrix puts out as per it's a nice universal example, right? Okay. System of record is down at the bottom. Now we've got a Workday example here, as I was just talking. It is the golden record. Things are happening down in this system. And that's why we want to use those workflows that are down in there to really juice these up. We want to try to get as many systems of record on automation or integration. Now, those that need to have access the system requisite. You're an HR professional inside the Oregon. Of course you need access to Workday. I mean, that's your job, right? But you know, Joe, the plumber that's out in the field, he just cares about PTO. What's his paycheck. And, and does he have any vacation days? There's not reason for him to be monkeying around in Workday, right? It was just surface those, uh, if he really needs to get in there. And he's probably because it's HR probably still getting a, um, a password to those systems. But honestly, you know, we can skip a lot of that training now because we just surface those right there for him and it's contextual to his work. So here's some examples. And again, you guys will get the slides, but you know, we look at, okay, organize work at the human layer, stress reduction guide, work at the human employer, that's prioritization and automating work. That's less soul sucking jobs, right? Like that's important to keep people at the organization. Okay. Why should we care about human centered design plus the new productivity wave productivity, security reporting, KPIs that lead to a bottom higher bottom line ROI. I'm leaving this up here again. I'm not going to read these slides. You guys will be able to download them, uh, take these as your notes. But ultimately we want to make sure that the employee is working in an organized guide in an automated manner, because we may not see them. We may never see them. There's chaos. There's lots of cases people hired during pandemic. They've never been seen in person security, super important. I don't think I have to explain that. Um, reporting and KPIs still need to understand where the business at, in the short term, without bothering the longterm creativity, all these kind of add up to a great bottom line, ROI increase. You know, this, this can be empirically measured. You can, you can stand with a stopwatch and go file a PTO request at the employee. And then when they're done with their side, go to the manager that has to approve it, restart the stopwatch, then go over to accounting or HR, whoever handles that, start the stopwatch again, and look at that. And then when we design it through something like Citrix workspace, start to watch stopwatch, it's going to be fractional, right? I mean, people still have to do it, but you know, it could be, we're going from minutes to seconds or, you know, 10, 11 minutes to two or three minutes. And then you go times the wage, right? And there's your money. There's a cost savings where this is ultimately going, is we want, especially with remote work, creativity is the goal. That's the goal. Now we still think about, you know, this is like a typical office worker. What we're looking at is administrative tasks tasking about 48 minutes. And it's 10% of the job. You're still going to have to do some of that stuff. We can't eliminate all, but not all systems are ready. Not all things are, um, eliminate to bowl. Maybe you're still handling exceptions. We also want to reduce communications time. Now that sounds again, a little paradoxical, but we want to keep communications tight on, on point and, uh, allow for more productivity during those communications. So no more, the thanks emails to like a hundred people. What's reduced that down about 20% of the time with remote work is you're going to have more communications going out 5%, which is a lot of the savings we're saving. We'd love to be able to put that back to the employee. So companies are going to pick up a lot of gains from this. So let's give some of that back to employee and invest in them. So they stay. Uh, so that's, well-being culture growth. It's about 15, 25 minutes a day, somewhere in that range, which is about the water cooler chat time, right? You got to work with other people and you go through some tough times. Uh, lastly we want 65%. That's two thirds of their time in that creative and value added work that will hit your bottom line. That's a lot, that's a lot of time focusing on things that help your organization. We've got a couple of examples on ROI. Uh, these are some of our estimates and some of the things that we've looked at 28% reduction in labor costs, um, 80% more retention, increased lifetime value employee, increased time to value, get less training, get people right into the mix. And they're ready to go. So thank you so much for your time today. I will expand on this topic as well as many others inside of our November 16th webinar at one 15, come to brick bridge consulting.com. Uh, you can register, you'll see the red banner and thank you so much for listening and get out of the way. Keep it simple. And we'll talk again soon.