One of the problems with good business ideas in the internet age is that, generally speaking, the rate of dissemination of the original idea far outstrips industry’s ability to keep up and make things real. True disruptive technology is very rare, and often takes time for to filter through the inertia and functional inability of Big Systems to absorb the initiatives driven out by lightweight, cutting edge developments.
For instance, what’s the best way of distributing media (music, video etc) to consumers? Why the internet of course. 10 years later, the entertainment industry still hasn’t really caught on…… protective measures from entrenched providers often prevents innovation from creating the business value that’s stored up in the original idea.
The same problem endures with (real) online recruitment, and certainly seems to be the case with Fractional Working.
Fractional Working (FW) has been talked about for years, and yet, with a few notable exceptions, there aren’t any great enterprise systems that support the management of FW or short-cycle temporary working. There are plenty of people out there (especially during a recession) that would like to be able to pick up some fractional work, and it’s easy to generate an online community of professionals, but how do you manage it in the business? Yes, I’m on my favourite hobby horse – where are the online business systems that enable social communities and the like to deliver real value?
There are the usual exceptions; some really clever people have distributed work via mobile phones to enable those in poverty stricken areas to earn real money (fabulous stuff by the way), but most of the online references for FW are for glorified job sites (exceptions noted).
Even taking into account such rare good services, upgrading your fractional contributors from unskilled, drop-in labour to highly skilled professionals that require a bit more in the way of credential management isn’t that easy. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get lawyers, engineers, accountants and bankers working fractionally instead of taking them on for some very expensive monthly contracts? But how do you manage them when it’s essential to meet your Sarbanes Oxley and other compliance requirements for highly qualified personnel, because their business impact is far greater than the typical fractional admin worker or blue/no collar time-slice hire?
Professional qualification validation and background checks are becoming a real problem to manage for temporary resources, and the requirement isn’t even addressed by the average crowdsourcing initiative. And as soon as you begin to introduce such compliance strictures, the typical onboarding period of days or weeks rather makes a mockery of the potential effectiveness of the fractional principle.
Well, good news. Here at WorkDocx we can make that happen. We can give you all the processes you need to connect with, validate, commission, contract and pay high value, high-spec / high-risk fractional working online.
What do you need to make FW a reality? Here’s a list:
Project Management– what are you going to deliver, and who is going to manage it internally? WorkDocx provides you with event management to which you can allocate internal people and physical resources, and then bind in a team of external fractional workers. Create an online working group with an automated community website in under 20 minutes. Multiple sessions, schedules, and phased delivery with cost centre management.
Approvals – you’ll need distributed approval systems to make sure you’ve got internal stakeholder buy in for each worker or group of workers, and finance sign off. It’s here – our workflow systems provide unlimited compliance workflow policy masters for each and any type of project.
Talent Management – how do you get in touch with a group of professionals who can deliver the ideas and deliverables you really need, and check that they’re real pros and not bozos? Create your own communities and talent pools with closed, shared, and open communities to protect your IP and specialist workers.
Screening and Vetting – how do you check credentials online? WDX ID and vetting systems make sure you’re working with people who are who they say they are, and have the credentials you need. Access WorkDocx licensed providers’ certificates and records and make sure those qualifications are real – and current!
Requirements – how do you define what it is that you want delivered, and distribute to the appropriate professional community? Our automated micro sites disseminate the requirements information to open or closed communities. Choose who you want to share with.
Bid Management – make sure you’re getting best value for money – manage the bids and rates for piece work or hourly work.
Order and Contract – if you’re managing high value deliverables, you’ll want more than a quick email to determine the legal status of your relationship. Exchange contracts online using encrypted digital signatures in no time flat, set up hourly, daily, milestone or JIT delivery management and sign-off, and legitimise and pay expenses online.
Crowd Management – manage multiple remote contributors delivering slices of time.
Performance – How do you track the quality of a deliverable that’s of high value and importance? WorkDocx faciltates tasking and review of deliverables online. Get your work outsourced anywhere in the world, and reviewed or QA’d at home before you pay.
Paying your Fractional Workers – how are you going to pay for work once you’ve signed it off? Use our multi-currency systems to send payments anywhere in the world.
Risk Management – the new working time directives (shame on you ukgov for allowing this ridiculous legislation!) present a risk for employers. How do you check that you haven’t inadvertently got a full-time employee on your hands because they’ve worked (maybe for only a few days) during a 12 week period, thence demanding holiday pay and benefits? WorkDocx will track them and catch them.
So if you really want to do enterprise Fractional Working – you know where to come!
By George Walker, CEO – Workdocx