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What can John Monash at Hamel teach us about our workforce?

In July 1918, the Great War continued to wage with little success. This all changed with the victory at Hamel under the command of Lieutenant General John Monash. Monash, a civil engineer by profession, understood that to win the battle he had to realise the potential of all the resources he had available to him and to use them in combination. Monash wrote "A perfect modern battle plan is like nothing so much as a score for an orchestral composition, where the various arms and units are the instruments, and the tasks they perform are their respective musical phrases". He supported the view that the most effective warfare involved many different types of weaponry and defences working together - the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Monash wrote "the true role of infantry was not to expend itself upon heroic physical effort, not to wither away under merciless machine-gun fire, not to impale itself on hostile bayonets, but on the contrary, to advance under the maximum possible protection of the maximum possible array of mechanical resources, in the form of guns, machine-guns, tanks, mortars and aeroplanes; to advance with as little impediment as possible; to be relieved as far as possible of the obligation to fight their way forward."

Monash was known as a meticulous planner. He used all the information he had to hand and analysed how best to put it to use. He came up with:

1. attack as early as possible, avoid light to decrease enemy visibility

2. use dummy installations to throw the enemy off

3. use noisy older aeroplanes to bomb and to mask the noise of the advancing tanks

4. resupply the troops from air (drop ammunition and supplies)

5. colour code each tank to make it easier to plan their movements.

However he also saw that faster and better battle intelligence was to be an integral part of his battle plan. This involved the use of reconnaissance planes. Maps of Australian and enemy troops were marked up from reconnaissance planes then dropped to motor bike riders who then dispatched the maps to the relevant section. Consequently, Monash and his battle leaders had up to date insight into the battle in minutes, compared to previous slower more laborious communications. In fact, Monash was using a form of workforce analytics with the available technology of the day (planes, maps, motor bike riders).

So what can we take from Monash's endeavours. Monash understood that to connect performance (battle success) and the workforce (infantry, plans, tanks) he needed:

1. an integrated view

2. a solid plan, and

3. quick insights and updates.

Monash overcame many obstacles to achieve his success. Modern workforces are not facing as many obstacles, however the use of workforce analytics continues to lag. Yet workforce analytics is an essential business tool for leading companies that view workforce performance as the key to improving company results, according to the 2013 report by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services: (

But it does not have to be so hard to get started and build a solid suite of workforce KPIs. Ingentis org.manager is a leading HR solution that enables you to gather data from different platforms and sources, into one place. Implementation can be done in a matter of hours.

From there you can visualise any kind of structure and define what you want to see. Ingentis org.manager is agnostic and can work with any HR system. It is one of the key solutions in the SAP App Centre and there is a version that is integrated with SAP SuccessFactors that runs on the SAP Cloud Platform.

For Workforce Planning and Real-Time Simulations of Organisational Restructing

For managers and workforce planners, the Ingentis solution facilitates modeling and charting based on the HR database. They can drag and drop to move objects around – e.g., departments and individual employees — and view a real-time simulation of a restructuring, directly in the organisation chart. From the standpoint of a Finance or HR manager, the solution can be used to run reports and track metrics like budget overruns or current vacancies.

A “Little Brother” Solution for Smaller Companies

Ingentis also provides orginio, a simpler solution designed for small and midsize companies with a flexible licensing model to make it affordable.

Currently, orginio is offered in English and German versions, while Ingentis org.manager is available in all of the most commonly spoken languages worldwide, including Chinese and Japanese.

Give your business the best opportunity for success. Take a fresh perspectives of your workforce today with an Ingentis solution.

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