Saturday, September 1, 2007

Getting to burst productivity

I've been following with great interest the discussion of burst versus busyness:

There’s a productivity paradox emerging with the rise of Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0, and social networking approaches and technologies. That is, the end users that engage in these new ways of working see their productivity occur in “bursts” of activity and innovation, versus a more incremental, plodding progress measured by the time clock.

This is at the heart of the hyper-productivity of Enterprise 2.0 tools. Moving to burst seems more critical to adoption than the tools themselves. Burst embodies a fundamentally different philosophical approach to "work".

How can you tell if you're getting to burst-- look at your logs. When does the work occur in your wiki, when are people chatting, when do your code check-ins occur? When are your organization's blog posts written? (Your organization does have tons of blogs correct?) If you've made it to burst there should be no enterprise-wide pattern. I'm not talking about individual productivity, and when specific individuals do their work. In true burst mode that doesn't matter one darned bit. I'm talking about your whole organization's pattern of work.

If you're truly making the transition to Enterprise 2.0 the bursts of productivity shouldn't be happening in a 9-5 window. If the bulk of your organization's work is occurring primarily within the traditional workday you're old an old economy organization. You can tell how serious your problem is by simply looking at when the real work takes place. Everything your organization does is recorded somewhere-- just look.

Some more burst links worth reading:


Floyd Davenport said...


Interesting post. I haven't read further yet, but I'm curious how organizations facilitate a culture supporting Enterprise 2.0 and burst productivity. Otherwise, I see conflict and stress.

Kevin Gamble said...

Well, your question is a good one, and I think I could write a book trying to answer. Instead, I think I'll give the response its own post. I've started giving it some serious thought. I'm thinking a list might work. :)