Harmony with the Kronos Workforce Central Suite
Oct 13, 2009
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When you think of the word "harmony", what comes to your mind? Maybe a peaceful nature scene or an orchestra performing a symphony... Or maybe some synonyms float up from your subconscious: peace, balance, accord, synchronicity. Odds are, the one thing you did NOT think of was a collection of software applications. Software applications by their very nature are distinct and separate from each other, right? Even Microsoft, with every new release of Office, brings a consistent look & feel and offers some features that provide interactivity within the MS Office suite, but you still think of Word and Excel as separate applications, not anything that relates to the word "harmony"...
Kronos Workforce Central is a suite of applications too. You start with Timekeeper, because that's the core module. Then you can add in other modules like Accruals and Scheduler and Leave and Attendance and Record Manager and Device Manager (formerly DCM) and so on. And some of those modules are more integrated than others - Accruals, for example, is about as tightly integrated with Timekeeper as you could imagine, while Leave could almost be completely stripped out to form a standalone document-tracking application. Much like the MS Office suite, no one is thinking about "harmony."
Why is that? Is it an incongruous concept for application suites?
Let's try to imagine what a harmonious suite would look like. Building on the features that make the applications a "suite" (like look & feel and simple integration), are there traits that you make think it is something special? How about if it worked like it was just one application, instead of a bunch of modules in a suite? That would be pretty unique. Even Office doesn't do that! But you wouldn't want to lose the strengths or features of each individual module. So how about if went into the suite, as you interacted with a particular feature or function, you would be able to draw on the strengths of all the modules in that one place (as appropriate), and that whatever you did in one place or module seamlessly propagated through the rest of the suite. That would be pretty slick, right? Because then you're thinking that the software is not so much of a suite as a single integrated application. But is that all?
Let's take it a step further. How about if not only did it feel like a single application, but the tasks you performed in the application, the data you entered, were designed to flow conceptually from one module to the next so that when you enter a piece of important information in one place, you can see that data as it shows up in other places cleanly and intelligently. That is not just integration-that is a designed data flow.
Now let's bring the last piece into the picture. You can have all the integrated applications with all the data flows you want, but if you don't structure your business processes to take advantage of that design, then you still have the same frustrated users and clunky system. Shouldn't a harmonious suite fit the business processes like a glove? If you were able to transform your processes to take advantage of the suite, then some balance can be achieved.
Sound attractive? Can you start to associate the word "harmony" with an application suite? It takes a design that accounts for integration, data flow, and process transformation. And that is not something that just happens.
And let's be honest: The Kronos Workforce Central suite is not perfect application. If it was, there would never be a need for upgrades or new features. But what it does offer is the framework to design harmony. You just need to the right vision and strategic approach.
Introducing: Improvizations Healthcare WA.
We facilitate harmony.