There is an unprecedented wave of retiring talent leaving both global and mid-market companies alike; These high performing contributors are taking with them years of skill and expertise, creating a vacuum of institutional knowledge. As this group of talented employees who have served as the global economic backbone for years prepare to leave, businesses are realizing they are ill-prepared to replace workers with such valuable niche experience. Frequently, no one other than the departing experts themselves are equipped with an accurate understanding of their day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. This knowledge gap becomes even more apparent when it comes to the process exceptions and variations that often define success or failure in today’s accelerated global business environment.

One of the biggest challenges that comes with this wave of change is the gathering and analysis of key information needed to train the Gen Xers and Millennials slotted to replace their more experienced counterparts. When it comes to recalling and recounting routine tasks and activities in an interview environment, it turns out that people frequently (and unsurprisingly) forget and omit things.

Human bias (aka cognitive bias) in staff transitions is inevitable. Everyone thinks differently, speaks differently, and interprets responses differently. When you ask someone a question, there are many ways they can go about answering. For example: they can expand on your question and include irrelevant detail; their interpretation of what you’re asking may be different from your intent; or they may deliver answers according to how they think they should answer. It all depends on who you ask, when you ask, and under what circumstances you ask.

The problem created by human bias when capturing business processes is fairly obvious. Documentation created from subjective, incomplete answers is virtually guaranteed to be inaccurate. The challenge then is to cut through the noise to capture and present a clear picture of all as-is processes and their common variations. How can forward thinking businesses document users’ day-to-day functions in near real- time without interfering or resorting to artificially reproducing ‘examples’?

That’s where software that enables you to monitor and capture real-time user activity comes in. Using the latest technology, teams and organizations can now quickly gain a complete understanding of end-to-end business processes. With the visualizations this technology makes possible, you can ask - and often even determine - why an individual performed action X or skipped step Y.

Earlier this year, Gartner published a blog on using data to convey concepts. In the post, Research Director, James Richardson said:

“All human storytellers bring their subjectivity to their narratives. All have bias, and possibly error. Acknowledging and defusing the danger of bias is a vital part of successfully using data stories. By debating a data story collaboratively and subjecting it to critical thinking, organizations can make the story safe and useful in the decision-making process. This discussion itself can help engage people with data and the story it’s really telling.”

The Worksoft platform is a prime example of leveraging the power of automation to create a collaborative data story of an organization’s business processes. Worksoft technology can be used to cut through subjectivity and human bias to document as-is processes so they can be reproduced and improved upon.

Next time, we will discuss how crowd-sourcing can help eliminate the human bias mentioned above.