With President Obama's signing of the 2010 Telework Enhancement Act this past December, agencies must begin the real work of examining their business processes to determine how telework implementation may get rolling across their operation.
Agencies will have 180 days (that is, early June) to establish a policy on working outside the office, to identify eligible employees and to inform them of the option. In addition, agencies will have to name an telework program manager, and create policies and plans for continuity of operations during natural disasters or other emergencies.
As reported in a previous blog, business process management can be used in two phases of telework ñ both planning and day-to-day work. BPM improves productivity by providing visibility across organizations and finding opportunities to improve operations. By incorporating BPM into eligibility planning, agencies will be able to determine whether the initiative might cause slowdowns in productivity, and if so how those slowdowns might be overcome by creating systems a dispersed workforce can follow.
For day-to-day business operations, business process management is equally critical for teleworkers. No matter where they may be ñ at home, in the office or on the road ñ access to systems, processes andbusinessforms are fundamental to worker productivity. In the BPM arena, new efforts are underway to combine mobility technology with cloud computing innovations to produce enterprise solutions that will improve collaboration regardless of where the user may be.
The government is not just making a perfunctory nod in the direction of telework. It is happening now, because it provides potential improvements in performance and transparency. Equally important, telework is coming to be an expectation on the part of younger prospective federal workers. The initiative is becoming an incentive for the next generation of public servants.
With that much federal focus, agencies are best served to begin understanding their processes and systems immediately. June is not that far away.
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