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It’s 2016 and we have a plethora of technology solutions to help optimize our business processes. Before we begin improving ourselves, we need to look into the black hole of how we operate. We need to know what is working well and what is not, who is working well, where we are overstaffed or understaffed and the list goes on. Knowledge is power. Once we know the current state of our processes, we can use business process management tools to move quicker, move smarter and be able to move swiftly in the face of change.
Today we are continuously meeting challenges from the industry, our competitors, our customers, technology advancements and our environment. Those who can move fast in the face of such challenges will succeed. But how can we keep up?
Enter automated workflows and analytics.
With workflow management it is important to know where you are going and how effectively you are getting there. Picture your last road trip with a GPS. With your GPS providing full visibility into traffic patterns, detours and quicker routes you were more informed about the journey and the arrival time for your final destination. The GPS provided you with some intelligence and efficiencies along the way. Now, think about having this same insight into your business processes where your team is fully aware of upcoming work, new changes and bottlenecks. Having visibility here allows you to adapt to continually deliver the right product accurately and on time.
Workflows should take care of the decision making and document routing between approvals and/or steps in an automated way. To be effective it must provide a clear roadmap for each project allowing all parties to know how much work is coming, where it is going next and when the deadlines are. Notifications are also key to properly inform project participants or stakeholders of changes or next steps or to begin a process.
Adding in informative dashboards that can provide both high level and detailed reporting on a project/task/team gives the basis for a competitive edge. With data that is constantly changing, you need up-to-the-second information. Dashboards and reports give your company the details on its efficiency heartbeat. Having one central repository of information across various systems is most effective.
You are not improving if you have significantly accelerated processes but have not addressed risk management. Humans are prone to error. No surprise. We are particularly prone to error when we are bored or uninterested (think of those mundane tasks on your list). Couple this with employee turnover and the fast-moving pace of today’s business, no doubt we will miss items and lose track.
Business process management needs to consider the factors above. Digital workflows, online collaboration and real-time reporting provides an opportunity to improve accuracy. Quality assurance tools such as online compliance checklists for projects, highly visible deadlines with notifications and online tracking can help mitigate risk. Dashboards provide easy-to-consume information that makes it easy to determine bottlenecks, areas of urgency, workload and more. We need to optimize our business processes to reduce error and this begins with getting the right toolset to do so.
Move at the Pace of Change
Your business moves fast. From changing requirements of your customers, to competitors to changes in the market, it’s important to be able to react quick. This is where flexibility in a technology solution comes in. Not only must we solve the business requirement for today, but we also need to solve the problems of tomorrow. Rarely do requirements in business remain static. Using software that merely meets the needs of today is a short-sighted mistake.
Given the right tool sets, people can leverage the benefits of technology to stay competitive and provide better value to their customers. But getting the right mix of technology that offers more efficiency in business processes can be difficult and costly. As such, solutions be flexible enough to meet the needs of the organization and not the other way around. Furthermore, understanding that organizations may use several useful tools and legacy systems, solutions need to easily integrate among several systems to provide an extra layer of visibility into all business processes.
Ready, Set, Go
Better business starts with operational efficiencies. Intelligent workflow automation, dashboards and quality assurance tools bring efficiencies to better allocate current resources and reduce the need to bring on additional resources.
The key to finding a technology solution for business process management is to ensure it satisfies these components:
As many internal and external factors continuously adjust the business landscape, it’s more important than ever to incorporate solutions that are agile to meet your needs now and in the future.