The Knowledge Work Factory: Turning the Productivity Paradox into Value for Your Business 1 9781260122152 Unlock your company’s true potential by eliminating knowledge work waste that’s hiding in plain sight. Back in 1987, Nobel laureate Robert Solow quipped, “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” This costly condition soon became known as the “productivity paradox.” Why does it persist today? Why do knowledge workers spend a third of their days on needless correction, avoidable work and overservice, despite existing office technology that could help, even automate, their actions? And why does nobody notice? The answers—and solutions—are in this book. The Knowledge Work Factory uncovers the well-intentioned waste that hides in plain sight within virtually every organization. It reveals the ingrained perceptual biases that trick our brains into accepting the status quo and missing breakthrough opportunities. It draws stunning parallels to industrial production, which cracked this very code over 100 years ago. Most importantly, it gives you an easy-to-follow, one-stop guide to boost efficiency, productivity, and morale among the very knowledge workers who struggle under the burden of the productivity paradox. Discover your organization’s true, untapped capacity. Maximize the productivity of every single knowledge worker. Uncover “better-than-best practices.” Reap benefits that drop straight to the bottom line. The power is in your hands—with The Knowledge Work Factory.
The Knowledge Work Factory: Turning the Productivity Paradox into Value for Your Business

The Knowledge Work Factory: Turning the Productivity Paradox into Value for Your Business

1st Edition
By William Heitman
ISBN10: 1260122158
ISBN13: 9781260122152
Copyright: 2019

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ISBN10: 1260122158 | ISBN13: 9781260122152



The estimated amount of time this product will be on the market is based on a number of factors, including faculty input to instructional design and the prior revision cycle and updates to academic research-which typically results in a revision cycle ranging from every two to four years for this product. Pricing subject to change at any time.

Program Details

Introduction: Just Another Day at the Office

Part I: The Problem

Chapter 1: Where is White-Collar Waste Hiding? In Plain Sight!
• What do a financial-services company and a tire manufacturer have in common?
• Why do 20 percent of earnings go missing—and unnoticed?
• Test your knowledge: three “spot the waste” stories.
• Introducing the concept of “virtuous waste.”

Chapter 2: Did You Notice That Your Most Valuable Assets Have Shifted?
• Buried in Babylon: the difference between tangible and intangible assets.
• Competencies: mundane work activities that are worth a fortune.
• Why your greatest assets remain unrecognized and underproductive.
•  How unique is your business? Understanding the anti-standardization bias.

Chapter 3: How We Got Here: The Long Journey to Myopia
• Thirty thousand years of productivity improvements—in just five minutes.
• Should technology drive work activities—or the other way around?
• Why has knowledge work failed to improve when other work has wildly succeeded?
• The Industrial Revolution, “big rocks theory,” and the productivity paradox.

Part II: The Solution

Chapter 4: Finding--And Fixing--Your Business' Biggest Blind Spots
• Perceptive biases that trick your brain into giving you incorrect information.
• Logic biases, flawed rationalizations, and profit-robbing false trade-offs.
• The “principle of least effort”: not as simple as it sounds.
• Powering past your blind spots: techniques for “seeing the unseen.”

Chapter 5: Transforming Your Business into a Knowledge-Work Factory
• The immutable elements of industrial—and knowledge—work.
• Three perceptual errors that make the brain ignore these elements.
• The “better mousetrap dogma”: market-based suppression of business innovation.
• Touring the anthill of knowledge work operations.

Chapter 6: What's the Capacity of Your Knowledge-Work Factory?
• The rise and (mostly) fall of org charts: an unmatched masterpiece from 1855.
• How knowledge labor-cost data go missing—and where they’re hiding.
• Why knowledge workers believe they’re “exempt” from productivity management.
• Five lessons from a century of failed organizational theories.

Chapter 7: Recognizing the "Hidden Products" Your Knowledge Workforce Builds
• Taking inventory: the overlooked products your knowledge workers create every day.
• How “false complexity” erodes productivity—and impedes standardization.
• Lessons from the factory floor: adapting product-based management to knowledge work.
• A finance department case study: best intentions, worst outcomes.

Chapter 8: Building Your Very Own Knowledge Work Factory
• Beginning with basics: capacity and work products.
• The 1914 productivity death match: Frederick Taylor vs. Henry Ford.
• Separating the management of work from the performance of work.
• Reducing variance to boost productivity up to 30 percent—without technology.

Part III: The Turbocharge

Chapter 9: Optimizing Your Knowledge Work Assembly Lines
• “The five maybes”: a simple path to business-process improvement.
• How to outachieve the overachievers to reach better-than-best- practice performance.
• Why today’s knowledge work is tragically under-automated.
• Documenting and managing predictable patterns in business processes.

Chapter 10: Analyzing And Simplifying Knowledge Work Activities
• Overcoming the three challenges to activity-level knowledge work improvement.
• The “periodic table of knowledge work activities.”
• Which work activities are “unique”? Shattering a longstanding misperception.
• Tales of terror: real-world examples of hidden waste (with happy endings).

Chapter 11: Turbocharging Your Knowledge Work Factory
• Doubling and redoubling productivity, one wrench-turn at a time.
• A spreadsheet/robot smackdown.
• The Activity Cube: reconciling four “views” of operations.
• Vendor hype versus reality: how much can you actually automate?

Chapter 12: Managing Industrialization
• Counterintuitive strategy: how to win by playing “not to lose.”
• Crossing the void: three strategic milestones.
• Building your knowledge work factory: a two-phased approach.
• Demons of the deep: how to avoid common implementation traps.



About the Author

William Heitman