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Consortium for Service Innovation

How Does It Work: Intelligent Swarming Design

Intelligent Swarming is a new and more efficient way to align people with work. It is not a linear process like we are used to with the traditional tiered support model.  Not every request follows exactly the same process: the sequence of events and resources needed is emergent, based on who is making the request and the nature of the request. The thing that makes Intelligent Swarming intelligent is the People Profiles. When we talk about People Profiles, they are not just for the knowledge workers involved in the resolution process; they also apply to requestors (customers).  The more we know about the people involved in the requestor-responder process, the better we can align the work with the appropriate people.   

Let's take a look at the pieces required to design an Intelligent Swarming process.

  1. People Profiles   (This is what makes Intelligent Swarming intelligent)

    • Identity (who am I)
    • Preferences (preferred ways to interact)
    • Skills (deep and broad)
    • Interests (skills I would like to develop)
  2. Reputation Model (my history of value creation)

  3. Process (How are we going to swarm?)

    • Intelligent matching (using People Profiles and the attributes of the request)
    • Enable visibility to work
    • Raise my hand to get help from others
    • Offer help to others
    • Knowledge reuse, improve and capture
    • Exception detection and management
  4. Tools & integration (How can we enable a swarm?)

  5. Measures of Success (How are we doing with swarming?)


Principles for Facilitating Collaboration

There are a variety of ways to enable and facilitate collaboration.  Intelligent Swarming works best if:

  • People are engaged and aligned
  • Incident/case/request ownership is clear
  • It's designed by the people using the process
  • Continuous improvement is built into the process (expect to iterate)
  • People Profiles and reputations are rich and multifaceted
  • The same classification model is used for work, people, and knowledge (content)
  • Exception detection and management is clear
  • Performance assessment shifts from activity to value and from primarily individual individual to primarily team
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