6 Tips to Prioritize People in a Collaboration Portal (WebCenter)

When people interact with executable processes, collaboration portals need to be built to accommodate their roles and working style. The list below shows guidelines to focus a collaboration portal around usability, relevance, and personalization, while giving mechanisms for the user to understand the bigger picture, deploy collaboration tools, and prevent overloaded work queues.

  1. Multi Function Task List – Not all tasks should require a user to claim a task, fill out a task form, and then update an outcome. Classifying different types of task and allowing users to appropriately interact with them from a single task list is important. Strategy to Create a Usable Multi-Function Task List
  2. Relevant Task Views – Any collaboration portal should provide preconfigured options to view tasks for the 80% most common functionality customized based on their roles. Predictive business rules can be used to automatically determine task priority for each task view to allow the user to quickly find the most important tasks. If deemed appropriate, it may also be wise to allow users to save custom searches for quickly completing tasks in personalized ways. Configurable views and products like WebCenter Spaces can be used when detailed personalizations are demanded for productivity.
  3. Make Contextual Task Information Available – Users will need relevant information accessible from the task list to act on tasks quickly. Data should be consolidated and displayed in a unified manner to provide contextual information around the task beyond the information presented in the task list. The easiest way to accomplish this is to create a generic task summary linked to from the task list that includes any number of flex fields required to update the user.
  4. Sense of Place – Enabling users to effectively prioritize and make good decisions often involves giving them access to Business Intelligence such as Process Visualization, Process Analytics, and Activity Monitoring. A task list should still try to be predictive about what is the most important based on business rules, but the overall quality of service is greatly improved if people know how their actions fit into the bigger picture.
  5. Balance Workload – The most critical time to manage workload is during high volume hours or as bottlenecks occur within a process. Numerous techniques can be applied to ease the stress of an overloaded work queue and give business users peace of mind. A manager dashboard will allow managers to take full responsibility to intervene when workloads get to high to ease the burden on business users. Views can also be made for other workers to easily identify overloaded queues, and reassign or claim tasks.
  6. Enterprise 2.0 Collaboration – Enterprise 2.0 Portals have made configuring collaboration workspaces accessible to users. When a new wiki, blog, or shared document is helpful for working together, an Enterprise 2.0 portal like WebCenter or Liferay can add value. Ad Hoc tasks can also be added to people’s queues on the fly and linked to collaboration components so efforts can be tracked in a standardized way.

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