Information abundance and Context deficit

During World War II, in the days prior to the battle of Midway American cryptanalysts had cracked the Japanese JN-25 code. This enabled the US Navy to get a clear idea of Japanese battle plans… barring one important detail – they didn’t know where the Japanese planned to attack. All the Japanese communication used the code “AF” for the location. Although, the Americans guessed AF code to be the Midway Atoll, they obviously wanted to be certain. So, the US radioed an unencrypted false message about water shortage at Midway and sure enough, they intercepted a Japanese message that “AF was short on water”. The Americans set up an ambush at Midway and won their first decisive victory in the Pacific theater. This is an important lesson in the perils of information usage without relevant context

In recent years, greater geographic spread of operations, and the increase in business agility everyday demands organizations to rely heavily on electronic communication. For operations teams, most of their collaborative work revolves around emails, phone calls and structured workflows. While the workflows are designed, keeping in mind operational requirements (typically approvals), the other two are generic communication tools.

Why is it that a generic tool like email is so much more preferred over workflows specially crafted for operational scenarios? Because, in many cases the solution to a problem is a sort of negotiated agreement between multiple parties such as remove blocks/holds based on verbal assurances, substitute one material with another, re-route a shipment, seek a change of delivery date etc. Multiple iterations, options are discussed and compromises are made to come to a consensus. Even the most mature workflow setup can barely handle collaboration involving such deep engagement with no clear rules. This leads to a number of emails with spreadsheets and screenshots thrown in – just to ensure that the reader gets the context. Unfortunately, the spreadsheets and screenshots turn into stale data by the time the receiver attends to the email. The consequence – decisions based on outdated context. Often, this leads to decisions akin to the Japanese retransmission of the water shortage message!

Context awareness of the operations team was the primary motivation for us to weave in an ad-hoc collaboration tool (In-mail) into the OpsVeda workbench.  OpsVeda also enables Time-travel, a unique feature that allows users to do time traversal on their reports.  Thanks to OpsVeda’s real-time roots, our users are always abreast of the status and context up to the minute.  The in-mail feature reduces the overload of emails and the challenge of information abundance thereof.

Furthermore, OpsVeda is built on a Manage by Exceptions’ framework.  The users’ ability to configure exceptions and metrics enables prioritization and segmentation of transactions. This helps to deliver visibility into ‘what needs attention’ as they get to work.

Anecdotal evidence based on customer feedback infers that in 60% of exception scenarios, the resolution time has been shortened by almost 40% of average. This could be due to reduction in the cycle of communications and clarifications. Very soon we will be measuring and come out with empirical evidence on how exception management and contextual collaboration improves resolution time in the enterprise.

Work with context relevant information on the OpsVeda Platform to gain operational efficiency.