Its all about Workflow

I think I have written this many times but it’s super interesting to see the same issue repeated over and over. I often get approached by organisations that want to build a publishing platform. They typically, let’s say it’s at about 95% of these conversations, start with the questions like ‘will it be able to do X?’ – ‘X’ as it happens, turns into a big bucket of things. It ranges from ORCID login credentials, to ‘produce JATS’ to ‘could it do peer review?’ etc etc etc

They have  a bucket list of features. The point I like to make is – a publishing platform can do all of those things, but it’s not the technology that we should be talking about. We should be talking first about the problem you are trying to solve — and the problem you are trying to solve is workflow. We should be talking about your workflow first – before technology even enters the conversation.

Workflow is the problem you are trying to solve and it should inform the technology you build. The technology can then be built to enable the workflow you want. If you approach it from the position of ‘technology first’ you are missing the point. If you want technology to help you, you first must understand the problem that you are trying to solve. And that problem is workflow.

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