Whole Work

Sociotechnicity & DevOps


The Talk

Occupational roles express the relationship between a production process and the social organization of the group. In one direction, they are related to tasks, which are related to each other; in the other, to people, who are also related to each other.” –Eric Trist

When considering the flow of work through a work system, it is often advised to “follow the work, not the people.” This simple principle, tracing work through a system in order to understand handoffs, wait time and waste, is invaluable for enabling a transition from resource efficiency to flow efficiency. As Trist describes it, this is the way in which roles are related to production processes.

What is left unanswered then is… Trist’s “other direction.” How are work and roles related to people and other roles?

Whole Work is a sociotechnical theory about how to design work and work systems to decrease toil, increase quality and address the needs of humans doing the work.

Jabe Bloom discusses the design principles of Whole Work systems and discusses how to use them to create resilient sociotechnical systems in complex and dynamic economic environments.

Private Workshops

We offer private versions of this talk and related workshops for organizations. We are happy to provide a tailored learning experience designed to meet your unique organizational challenges.

Reach out at workshop@ergonautic.ly