Contingent Workforce Management & BPM Technology - Another Opportunity For Leverage

According to the analysts at Aberdeen Group, on average 26% of world workforce headcount is considered "contingent", including contract and temporary staff.  Clearly contingent labour-force outlays account for a huge portion of total spend.  But Aberdeen asks if this spend is well-managed. 

There are in fact very significant differences between best-in-class and laggard organizations concerning how contingent work is managed.  Best-in-class managers get much better results (over 50% higher reporting program objectives achieved), better contingent workforce cost control and most important, significantly better overall organizational efficiency.  This last benefit gets to the heart of the whole contingent workforce business case. 

Why bother with all the effort and management time to organize contingent workforce scaling if your organization does enjoy overall improved efficiency as a result?

In a world of intense competition, contingent workforce scaling makes intuitive sense, and it's not surprising the Aberdeen Group has identified characteristics of the organizations that "do contingent" better.  But why highlight these insights in this Decision Models forum on business process management technology?

BPM technology is a key enabler for best practices around contingent workforce management. 

This observation is an editorial comment by your host, but the Aberdeen Report is very clearly focused on the processes of contingent workforce management.  And while some of the technology enablers for contingent workforce management are based on specialized packaged applications (for example "VMS" or "Vendor Management Systems"), there is clearly a component of contingent workforce management that will necessarily be custom for any given organization.  In particular, Aberdeen highlights the importance of mobile applications technology and mobile collaboration for effective contingent workforce deployment.  And both of these things can be very business process-oriented.

Business Process Technology Especially Suited To The Work Of Contingent Labour Forces

Your host observes that the particular nature of work for which contingent workforce resources may be deployed is skewed to repetitive and more highly structured tasks.  And it is these kinds of work tasks that are particularly suited to business process software technology

Contingent workforces can be most easily deployed in situations where work can be "packaged", "explained", and "managed" for easy scale-up and scale-down.  And business process software technology is especially useful in such scenarios.  Building out libraries of re-usable processes make scale-up and scale-down much more viable.  And business activity monitoring will likely be built right in to the process.   (Aberdeen Group highlighted process monitoring as a key distinguishing characteristic of the organizations that were most successful with continent workforce utilization.)

Even the packaged applications purpose-built for contingent workforce management are likely to have business process software built in, sometimes with the deliberate possibility of extension and customization.

Business process software technology is powerful and becoming more so.  But the value of this technology of work is only realized in real business situations.  The example of contingent workforce management is a great example of leverage for business process software technology.  Use the best technology to gain the leverage, and you'll help ensure that you're in the "best-in-class" category of organizations for contingent workforce management.  And that means you'll be enjoying the ability to scale up and down as needed, and with a positive impact on overall organizational goals.

If you'd like to read the original 24-page report Contingent Workforce Management by Analyst Christopher J. Dwyer, it can be acquired without charge for a limited time via the embedded URL; registration is required.