Business processes are universally portrayed in an overly simplified and linear manner. However, work is multi-lateral and defined by distinct, and equally important, operational axes.

When business operations are considered more broadly than just business processes and their enabling technology, a new landscape of opportunity opens up. And impact can be significant. By defining business operations across four axes of work, Zenda's Work Design​ allows you to see more deeply into your business, explore ideas, create and test new approaches, and apply new skills, methods, and tools.



The greatest untapped source of operational insight lies in the human context of work. Yet the workforce has been viewed as the greatest source of risk to business' operational strategies and tactics. And to counter this, has become the driver of ineffective training and change management expense.

Zenda incorporates a new understanding of the workforce into the decisions that drive how business is executed — often eliminating training, empowering professionals, and transforming the experience of employees and, in turn, ​ customers.

Human performance metrics (behavioral, cognitive, social) drive transformational discoveries that escape traditional efficiency-driven best practices methodologies.



For a business system to be 'usable' is no longer a goal — it is table stakes. It is not innovation. How technology will manifest within the business operation is a complicated question that must be answered with equal regard for business objectives, the worker, and the role of data within the work event.

Every business system — built, bought, already deployed or in planning — represents an opportunity to operate differently, more effectively, more innovatively. By allowing Work Design​ to define how technology will serve the operation, adoption risks are mitigated, transformation costs decrease and promised operational impacts are guaranteed.



Operations are a combination of things: processes, policy, regulation, infrastructure, skills, culture, data, etc. The best business operations are driven by a careful prioritization and orchestration of the most important aspects of the work event.

When designing how work happens, business leaders collaborate with technologists, data experts, workforce members, executives, customers and a variety of other stakeholders. To bring all of these views together, Zenda designers drive collaboration through operation models that bring disparate voices, and sometimes opposing concerns, into a singular vision of the best possible business operation.



Data is no longer the static record of business — the tea leaves from which the future is predicted. Machine learning, artificial intelligence and the field of data science make data a real-time actor affecting the execution of business.

How data can and should affect the execution of work is a question as important to answer from a human perspective as it is from a business process, policy or procedural perspective. Data, the latest actor inside business operations, must be designed into the work.

One of the key things that sets Zenda apart is its ability to combine various skills to create solutions that work in the real world, taking into account business, technical, and — perhaps most challenging — human considerations, creating an ACTIONABLE solution with a bottom-line impact for their partners and clients. Speaking as a long-time computer science and information technology business and academic leader, I can assure you that is most unusual.

— Dean, a 'Top Ten' School of Computer Science
Case Studies

Reporting as a Service

Learn how the Zenda Team helped a major client re-engineer their reporting model starting with a Human Centered approach to the Processes, Tools, and Data requirements necessary for the client to enable strategic and operational goals.

Global Cross Divisional, Regulated Work

In finance, new product development must be consistent, complete and timely. The work is globally distributed, multi-disciplinary, highly regulated, and driven by people.

Human Context Insights Transform Products and Services

Inventory management and product ordering systems accounted for business processes but not customer needs and expectations.

Procurement Platform Deployment Reveals Transformational Opportunities

After deploying Ariba and 'industry best practices' Procurement remained a bottleneck and customers were still dissatisfied.

Global Collaboration Informed by Human Insights

With a marketplace full of collaboration and communication solutions, understanding the human context of work drives infrastructure decisions with measurable impact.

Reinventing Master Data Management

Optimizing Enterprise Communication and Organizational Connectivity through Human-Centered Design

Work Design defines the path to improved Employee Experience and business outcomes.

— Transformation Head, Healthcare, Fortune 100 Consumer Products

The Experts' Best Practices Can Deliver Less Than the Best

Disrupt, innovate, improve, transform. These stand as aspirational goals at every level of an organization and across every industry. They also serve as the management consultant’s promised achievements, the projected outcomes of “best practices” guaranteed to deliver. Yet deriving anything like innovation or transformation from a pre-packaged product is a tall, if not impossible, order.

Master Data Management

Seeking to optimize its master data operations, a highly decentralized Fortune 100 manufacturer asked Zenda to observe its off-shore master data team and return with recommendations to increase efficiency and accuracy in its master data processing. Zenda researchers observed a highly knowledgeable master data team skilled in handling the nuances and variability of master data, a result of the significant time spent resolving errors in master data requests. Within ten months of the pilot launch, request volume decreased by 89% and request rejections decreased by 86%.

Enacting a Design Mind to re-evaluate transformational efforts

When Zenda’s designers and design researchers are invited into the enclosed corporate spaces of business operations and their workforce, they are invited for the values they drive from their ‘designerly’ (Cross, 2006) thinking and practice. As partners who propel change through transformational perspectives, they are necessarily observers who are capable of shifting focus across micro (individual) to macro (systemic) levels of analysis. As outsiders, they maintain a thoughtful distance and leverage the objectivity it affords, while continuously expanding their minds to learn and understand the many discrete contexts, define areas of opportunities and challenges, and drive values and actionable insights that have operational significance to the human context of businesses. Their minds are at times perceptive and, others, open; at times intentional and, others, fluid. Their design minds build up a storm, as a way of questioning and making discoveries that arise from their contextual grounds and propel the events forward from current to future state. What informs a design mind and how does it enact in the world?

Please, No More User-Centered Design

As I carved out a design career in the technology industry, the humanity of my design training was slowly but surely subverted by a term with which I have grown increasingly uncomfortable. Like floppy disks, CDs, mouse cords and forty-five-pound monitors, the word user should be left behind with so many other cast-offs of computing technology’s early days.

Sodexo x Zenda

In a time when the pandemic has caused companies to rapidly modify operating tactics, Sodexo’s CMO highlights how a single, comprehensive visual model of their operation helped them move quickly from concept to operating reality. Seeing risks and opportunities within the complex interdependencies of their global operation allowed Sodexo to implement initiatives that increased new business development 12%, with Marketing & Sales surpassing quarter goals.

The Design of Everyday Work

Why does great design end at the door of the workplace?

Human Centric Design for Finance

Four perspectives provide a clear view into the value and pitfalls of perhaps one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood and inappropriately applied trends in business — design.

The Design of Work in a Time of Crisis

One morning in March we woke up and everything was different. For the foreseeable future we would shelter in place and do our best to carry on working without leaving our homes...

Design to Delight

Rethinking how the business enterprise specifies, buys, builds and deploys tools.

Designers This May Be It

Before design thinkers skimmed a couple of techniques and a few key moments from a centuries-old design process and packaged them up for mass consumption, businesses borrowed something else from the design world...

Zenda Voices
Our thoughts

Zenda Voices

Wrench in the System

“Harold Hambrose's book pointed out, in plain language and with concrete examples, why business software generally doesn't work and how to fix it. I am well acquainted with the literature that covers design of technology systems, and Hambrose's text is the only one that adequately tackles software product design issues in a practical and accessible manner."

— CIO, Pharmaceutical vertical, Fortune 100 company about Wrench in the System

“Together with thought leaders like Edward Tufte, Harold Hambrose reminds us that great design can change the world."

— Tony Pizi, CIO, Asset Management, Platform Services, Deutsche Bank