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Telework in the Federal Government: Let the Planning Begin

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
December 7, 2010

With a telework law ever closer to reality in the federal government, the need for reliable (and mobile) business process management has never been more critical ñ both in planning and in day-to-day work.

Even in a lame duck session of Congress, the need for federal telework legislation could not be disputed. After having been approved by the Senate in September, the Telework Enhancement Act (HR 1722) was passed by the House of Representative this month by a margin of 254-152, according to an article in The Federal Times. Observers are urging President Obama to quickly sign the bill into law.

Many supporters of telework point to both cost reductions and improved productivity as key benefits. Creating a telework component in day-to-day employee personnel policy will require a hard look at current business processes to ensure both of those benefits are met. That's where BPM software comes in.

It's generally accepted that BPM improves productivity, by providing visibility across organizations and finding opportunities to improve operations. In the planning phase for compliance with telework regulation, BPM will be essential in determining whether bottlenecks might develop, and how to address potential problems arising from a dispersed workforce.

Once the plans have been set, BPM will become critical for the teleworking employees. It's important for employees to be part of the process of doing business, whether at the office, home office or in transit. A completely mobile BPM solution will help make telework a completely transparent way for federal agencies to do business.

The months to come will involve a lot of upfront work to ensure a smooth transition process when telework almost inevitably becomes law. Agencies with experience in BPM now will have a leg up in compliance later. Let the planning begin!