Source |Hbr.org | BY:Devin Fidler
Fortune 500 executives spend a fair amount of time thinking about how automation and the Internet are changing the nature of employment, but they rarely wonder how technology will have an impact much closer to home: on their own jobs.
For the last several years, we have been studying the forces now shaping the future of work, and wondering whether high-level management could be automated. This
inspired us to create prototype software we informally dubbed “iCEO.” As the name suggests, iCEO is a virtual management system that automates complex work by dividing it into small individual tasks. iCEO then assigns these micro-tasks to workers using multiple software platforms, such as oDesk, Uber, and email/text messaging. Basically, the system allows a user to drag-and-drop “virtual assembly lines” into place, and run them from a dashboard.
But could iCEO manage actual work projects for our organization? After a few practice runs, we were ready to find out. For one task, we programmed iCEO to oversee the preparation of a 124-page research report for a prestigious client (a Fortune 50 company).