Work OS: critical capabilities
Oren is the Head of Enterprise Marketing at monday.com.
What is a Work OS?
A work operating system (Work OS) is a cloud-based software platform where teams create custom workflow apps to plan, run, and track processes, projects, and everyday work.
With a work OS, every team can create the apps it needs for everyday work. And when several teams in an organization use a work OS, they can achieve even more together.
A Work OS is geared for organizations of all sizes and across all functions of the organization. It provides non-technical users the flexibility to adapt to any workflow, project or process. The platform provides a User Interface that serves all users of an organization, regardless of their technical background.
What are the critical capabilities of a Work OS?
- Organization-Wide Use
A Work OS serves all employees in an organization; all users should be able to utilize all critical capabilities of the Work OS. As such, everyone in the organization should have a Work OS user.
If you have a work email, you should have a user on the Work OS.
- Building Blocks
A Work OS is built of functional building blocks that teams drag and drop to assemble together into apps that manage work as well capture and present data. The building blocks may even become the Work OS User Interface (UI) itself.
A best-in-class Work OS will allow users to build their own building blocks, and it in itself will be built from those building blocks.
A Work OS user can assemble and reassemble any application composed in the Work OS.
- Structured Data Store
Unlike traditional databases that require specialized administration skills and permissions, the Work OS database structure is decentralized. Anyone can create their own database and give anyone else permissions to update and manipulate its structure and data.
The goal is capture, analyze and track all work-related data and assets in an organization by democratizing database creation. These databases are free to be used by anyone and are shared across teams.
A basic ability of a Work OS is to capture any kind of data in an easy way, both from humans and other tools, or by integrations, making data capturing complete and digestible.
The data has to be consumed as-is by Work OS users or through its building blocks.
A Work OS should allow all data to be accessible through an open API, while some also provide access through an integration platform.
- Integration of data & apps
A Work OS is limited if not all its users with appropriate permissions are able to connect their external data sources and apps they use into a unified workspace. A robust Work OS should allow multiple ways to achieve this, from API capabilities to easy integrations anyone can use.
Some Work OS platforms use no-code external integration hubs to achieve this, while others provide a suite of built-in, simple-to-use integration capabilities.
Integrations allow users to continue using their existing tools while centralizing all work into one shared workspace.
- Workflow Automation
A Work OS allows the automation of its operations. The goal is that any Work OS action that a human can perform on the Work OS can be automated.
Automations remove human error where possible to allow for seamless execution of predictable, repetitive activities.
Automations are executed not only inside the Work OS but also throughout external apps that are connected to the Work OS.
Automations create trust that things will happen and make any team move faster.
- Data Visualization & Analytics
A Work OS allows for any data on the system to be digested and displayed in various ways for tracking and extracting insights.
Any users who have access to the Work OS, and permissions to the specific datasource, can create their own reports and visualization methods on the system.
Some Work OS platforms go as far as to allow manipulation of the raw data inside the visualisations they offer.
Visualisations, such as dashboards and reports, become a smart operational tool.
A Work OS’s dashboards and reports become a single source of truth for data-driven decision making.
- Permissions & Governance
A Work OS includes a facility for governance in a centralized administrative function. This includes governance over who can view, update, and enter data as well as who can integrate and automate work.
Therefore, teams can work autonomously through the Work OS while maintaining adherence and compliance to the standard operating procedures of their organization.The dynamic ability of the Work OS to ensure controlled autonomy makes sure that all teams are governed by the standards of their organization and are unified in their efforts. This makes a Work OS appealing for organizations of all sizes.
Advanced features that a Work OS may offer
Some Work OS offer additional functionalities and features. These include:
Low-Code / No-Code App Creation
A Work OS provides a no code/low code platform for developers to create custom widgets, workflows, integrations and apps. These can be used by developers’ own organization or for commercial use by others.
A Work OS provides transparency into work progress for every employee and every team in the context of the work unit (projects, initiatives, processes). As such, 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.
Additionally, by creating structure and workflows using the building blocks of the Work OS, teams create a shared operational language that simplifies work communication. For instance, status updates are clearly indicated through a shared building block – making any additional communication redundant.
For more information on Work OS offerings and background, click here.