Work OS: The platform for today’s workplace needs

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More posts like this can be found at the monday.com blog

1. What is a work OS?

A work operating system (work OS) is a cloud-based software platform where teams plan, run, and track projects, processes, and everyday work. A work OS is geared for organizations of all sizes and across all functions of the organization. The platform provides the flexibility to build and adapt to any workflow, project or process.

A work OS becomes the hub for all work within an organization: it collects information from external tools, helps teams communicate about work items within the context of the work happening, and places all workflows in one place. This creates a centralized home for all work.

For example:

Marketing agencies use a work OS to collect all data from campaigns, such as social media or targeted email marketing, in one place, using integrations. In this way, everyone in the team with permissions has access to the data. They can also use a work OS for all workflows, including onboarding clients, receiving client requests, and assigning tasks.

Software development companies use a work OS to collaborate among product owners, customer success managers, and developers. All information from external sources – such as Jira or Zendesk – is integrated into the system. All internal and cross-team communication happens within the work OS: developers update product owners on problems, CS agents update product owners on customer requests, and more.

2. Why have work OS offerings emerged?

The future of work is coming fast. Teams – large and small – need to work at lightning speed to provide top-notch customer experiences, or they risk losing opportunities, time, and resources. To beat the competition, organizations are also striving to be more productive and efficient through cross-team collaboration.

Work OS are made to handle this kind of complexity. They plan, run and track everyday work – like ideation, processes, projects, and initiatives – in one place. They are ideal for changing and work environments where teams need to collaborate.

Several macro workplace trends have facilitated the emergence of work OS offerings: organizational agility, digital transformation, and cross-team collaboration.

Agility is a critical for teams today

Competition for customers and business has never been fiercer. Teams struggle to keep pace with constantly changing requirements, environments, customer needs and deliver continuously. Move too slow, and your organization risks being left behind.

Therefore organizations must become agile – flexible enough to shift and adapt to different demands. What began as a way of working for software developers, agile has now become the go-to standard for many organizations. .

Organizational agility is an organization’s ability to adapt rapidly in a quickly changing environment. For many organizations, this means a new mindset that reflects less hierarchy and more nimble teams are able to own and execute projects.

But according to a recent study by Oliver Wyman, despite a large number of leaders saying that organizational agility was highly important for future success (90 percent), only one in four rated their organizational agility as high (26 percent).

In an attempt to close this gap, organizations have turned to digital transformation to help them become more agile.

Digital transformation often results in data silos

This means that more and more companies and organizations are using digital technologies to streamline their processes and manage work. Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology into all areas of a business to solve workplace problems. More than simply using new software, digital transformation is a change that causes leaders and teams to rethink how they execute processes, workflows and customer relationships.

To achieve digital transformation, more and more organizations have adapted new technologies for their work. However, in many organizations, departments and functions might use their own specialized technologies – such as a CRM for sales or an ERP system for finances. These tools become disjointed and unaligned – causing cross-departmental or cross-team data silos in organizations of all sizes.

 Cross-team collaboration has become more challenging, despite technological advances

Digital transformation has made working with previously separate teams technologically easier – but organizational agility means that these functions must be more adaptive – and faster – than ever before.

But most organizations are struggling to keep pace. According to McKinsey, “In many companies, ownership of processes and information is fragmented and zealously guarded, roles are designed around parochial requirements, and the resulting internal complexity hinders sorely needed cross-business collaboration.”

Most organizations also have dispersed workforces across locations and time zones – no longer are most teams located within a traditional “headquarters.” Often departmental workflows are inefficient – with departments such as HR, Marketing, Operations, Engineering, Sales, and Design operate on their own.

The bottom line is clear: workplaces need a way to handle this complexity – or they will get left in the dust.

Autonomous teams are powering organizations today

To respond to this issue, autonomous teams power organizations today: teams that operate quickly and independently, using customized tools fit for their specific function or project. Oftentimes this results in “mini organizations” within a larger organization. Teams operate independently, without collaboration with other teams, no executive oversight, no alignment with business goals and standard operating procedure.

This results in three major silos pervading the modern workplace;

  • Data silos: Work data isn’t shared across teams, leading to isolated decision making. For example, designers don’t have access to marketing statistics, and therefore don’t know whether a designed campaign succeeded or failed.
  • Collaborative silos: One team isn’t aware of another’s work, leading to unnecessary and redundant work. For example, a project team creates marketing materials for a client while the larger marketing team also creates the same materials for a client.
  • Operational silos: Business units develop their own procedures rather than working according to standard operating procedures.For example: A business unit signs a contract to pay vendors in net 30 days rather than net 60 days, which is the standard within the organization.

Work OS offerings have emerged as a way for organizations to achieve organizational agility, digital transformation, and autonomous teams, without creating silos.

3. Who is a work OS for?

A work OS is ideal for teams of all sizes, as it is flexible enough to meet the needs of any process, project, or workflow. Work OS offerings are built for all users in an organization and don’t cater to a subset of professionals. They do not replace other systems but typically encapsulate those systems via integration. All work OS offerings vary in ease of use and flexibility.

4. Why should my team use a work OS?

A work OS eliminates silos and improves organizational agility by centralizing data, contextualizing communications and providing visibility to across an organization: 

  • Centralizing data: Work OS offerings consolidate information from disjointed tools in one place, so everyone with permissions can view it. This breaks through data silos.
  • Contextualizing communication: Work OS offerings help teams communicate within the context of work happening, so different business units can easily share work products and plans and communicate. This overcomes collaborative silos.
  • Provide visibility: Work OS offerings centralize communications and data, giving leaders visibility into everyday work and ensuring alignment with standard procedures. This overcomes operational silos.

Work OS offerings become a hub that show all workflows and connects teams to their work. They solve for many of the organizational challenges identified above:

5. Top 9 Capabilities of a work OS

All work OS offerings have the following characteristics:

  • Organization-wide use. A work OS serves all users in an organization, rather than specific functions or teams. Everyone in the organization should be a user on the work OS.
  • Building blocks. A work OS uses functional building blocks to enable users to compose workflows and capture data. A work OS user can break apart and reassemble any workflow or application offered on the work OS.
  • Structured data store. A work OS captures all data through human action and through automations, to make data complete and digestible. A user can consume the data as-is or through the lens of the building blocks.
  • Integration of data and apps. A work OS allows users to connect external data sources and apps into a unified workspace. Integrations allow users to continue using their favorite tools while centralizing all work into one shared work hub.
  • Workflow automation. A work OS allows automation of many, if not all, of its operations. Automation aims to remove human error for predictable, repetitive things.
  • Data visualization and analytics. All users with access to a work OS and with permissions to access a specific data source can create reports and visualizations with the system. A work OS’s dashboards and reports become a single source of information for data-driven decisionmaking.
  • Permissions and governance. A work OS includes permission-setting and governance features over who can view, update, and enter data as well as who can integrate and automate work. Teams can work in their own way with the work OS while staying compliant and aligned with their organizational standards.

Some Work OS platforms include the following features:

  • Track progress easily and visually. A work OS provides transparency into work progress for every employee and every team in the context of the work unit (projects, initiatives, processes). Managers can keep track of everyone’s work, thus ensuring alignment.
  • While a work OS doesn’t necessarily provide standalone communication channels, it does provide messaging within the context of a work task. 3rd-party communication tools (video, messaging, shared documents, and email) should be seamlessly integrated to add additional context.

For more information about the critical capabilities of a work OS, click here.

6. How do you choose the right work OS?

Because work OS offerings are built for all users in an organization, rather than catering to a subset of professionals , they don’t don’t necessarily replace other software systems but typically encapsulate those systems via integration.

All work OS offerings vary in ease of use and flexibility. It’s important to choose the best system for your needs.

Considerations for selecting the best system

  • Flexibility: How flexible is the system? Can you adapt it to your organization’s workflows?
  • Interoperability: Does the Work OS have the ability to integrate with the tools your organization is using?
  • Ease of adoption: Will teams in your organization be able to use it? Is it intuitive? What kind of learning curve does it involve? Does it require IT implementation?
  • Time: Does the system support collaboration to sync employees and teams? Does the system save time or create more work? Does it support automations that can eliminate manual activities? Does it require you to recruit someone to manage it?

7.Why should my organization use monday.com?

monday.com is the work OS that powers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence. It is the most complete and flexible system for users of all sizes, from enterprise companies, small and medium-sized businesses, and individual users. monday.com features:

Multiple integrations: Integration allows you to centralize your data and tools into the work OS. monday.com includes a variety of integrations, including:

  • Salesforce
  • Mailchimp
  • GitHub
  • Shopify
  • Jira
  • Hubspot
  • Microsoft Office tools
  • Many more [LINK TO INTEGRATIONS PAGE]

Flexible: monday.com is the most flexible work OS in the market, which means that instead of predefined workflows you are free to create your own workflows using work blocks.

Easy-to-Use: monday.com is easy to use with no coding required, enabling higher adoption rates organization-wide.

Automations: monday.com enables teams to save time by automating mundane tasks. This eliminates grunt work and lets teams focus on the work that requires their talents.

Multiple visualization options:  monday.com provides leaders and managers multiple options to view their organizational and team work and stay up-to-date on progress. e.

To learn more about monday.com, click here.

8.How do you set up a work OS?

Work OS offerings encourage flexibility, visibility, focus, and collaboration. Getting a Work OS set up is easy with the right offering.

Step 1: Transfer all organizational data into your work OS through integrations. Integrations easily transfer your data into the ‘ork OS, so you can start the process stress-free. This can include Zendesk tickets, received emails, CRM emails, and more.

Step 2: Create workflows. Whether it is a campaign creation workflow or product launch workflow, the workflow should account for every step of the process.

Step 3: Invite all your employees, vendors and team members to the work OS so your organizational communication happens within the context of the work in the system. For instance, you can comment within work items or processes to keep teams on the same page. For a work OS to be most effective, all communication should occur within the system and within the project or workflow. This can include discussions about tasks and projects, customer and employee data collection, and more. You can also invite external vendors and customers to your shared boards.

Step 4: Create dashboards that will provide you with high-level visibility into ongoing processes, projects, and workflows. This will give executives and managers visibility to everything that is going on in the organizations with a birds’ eye view. A work OS gives you the ability to track progress and projects, view the number of complete tasks in a sprint and check employee availability, quickly and easily.

By completing Step 1-4, you’ve taken a giant leap towards more visibility and transparency on your team.

Now, you can use the more advanced features of Work OS platforms, such as: automating workflows to free employees from mundane work. You can create notifications for upcoming due dates, automatically assign relevant team members to tasks, push due dates according to project progress, and set up workflows to automatically update team members at once.

9. Work OS: built for the next evolution of work

The future of work is coming fast – and teams must be more agile, digital and communicative than ever before. Work OS offerings have emerged as a solution for the next evolution of work. They serve as a hub for all work within an organization and are therefore uniquely suited for the challenges facing teams and organizations today, helping them be more adaptive and agile, easily weather through digital transformation, and improve cross-team collaboration. With unique features, monday.com is the easiest and most flexible work OS that powers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence.

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