Augmented Workforce Canvas: a management tool for guiding human-centric, value-driven human-technology integration in industry


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the roles of humans, technology and work in production systems. Although the level of automation on shop floors increases, it is not always feasible or effective to assign the execution of production tasks to autonomous systems. Where total automation is ineffective, new forms of Human-Technology Integration (HTI), Operator Assistance Systems (OAS) and Augmentation Technologies can empower the workforce and increase overall business productivity. OAS can be conceptualized as systems that interact with operators to augment their cognitive and physical capabilities whilst performing industrial work tasks, resulting in HTI. In order to achieve successful HTI, an organization must make appropriate strategic and operational decisions for its business environment while also effectively managing its operations. Identifying and executing effective managerial decisions and activities for HTI can be aided by using business support, i.e., management tools. However, in industry, the systematic guidance of practitioners in HTI activities remains challenging. This paper addresses the challenge of guiding practitioners in HTI by introducing the Augmented Workforce Canvas (Canvas). Developed through Procedural Action Research (PAR), the Canvas is a strategic technology management tool aimed at systematically guiding users through the complex transformation towards HTI and the future of work on the shop floor. The Canvas takes a value-driven, technology-neutral approach to HTI. The tool begins with an assessment by key stakeholder groups of the set of underlying problems and the required added value of the HTI. It can be used as a methodological framework for industrial researchers to identify their respective contributions to the overall context of HTI in industrial contexts. Building on 39 industry expert interviews, the Canvas was co-designed and developed in 13 workshop sessions, refined and tested in 12 working sessions by industry practitioners, and evaluated in three industry case studies. The Canvas contributes to the development of industrial human-technology systems by placing the value-added for production systems at the heart of management decisions.


author = {Möncks, Mirco and Roth, Elisa and Bohné, Thomas and Romero, David and Stahre, Johan},
year = {2021},
month = {11},
pages = {107803},
title = {Augmented Workforce Canvas: A Management Tool for Guiding Human-centric, Value-driven Human-technology Integration in Industry},
journal = {Computers & Industrial Engineering},
doi = {10.1016/j.cie.2021.107803}
APA Reference

Möncks, M., Roth, E., Bohné, T., Romero, D., & Stahre, J. (2021). Augmented Workforce Canvas: A Management Tool for Guiding Human-centric, Value-driven Human-technology Integration in Industry. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 107803.

Cyber-human Lab Contributors

Dr Thomas Bohné

Thomas Bohné is the founder and head of the Cyber-Human Lab at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering. He is also leading research...