As with his famous quote, “Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, believes that automation alone isn’t enough to solve inefficiency concerns at work.

Streamlining enterprise operations to minimise costs is crucial. The first step is to optimise workflows with workflow management frameworks, before tapping on automation; these include Six Sigma, Total Quality Management and Lean Systems.

Automation can then be tapped on for automating repetitive tasks. A company can configure software or a “robot” to complete these tasks in a rules-based manner. In other words, you can set the rules and deploy the software to automate these actions. This can range from automatic responses to emails, such as “out of office” messages, to complex tasks such collecting and analysing data. All these should allow employees to devote more efforts to higher value work.

Ensuring that productivity goals are met

What gets measured gets done. That’s why your workflow management system should also include reporting capabilities that offer visibility and insights into your activities. Consider a business intelligence service, which reports on Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) and helps you ensure that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are met.

Some features you can implement are:

  • Reporting capabilities: Get visibility throughout the activities via an interactive dashboard, that can help you better manage your processes
  • Access to insights: Generate reports with real-time insights and granular data, together with the means to review past information
  • Notifications for urgent tasks: Timely notifications for crucial tasks that can be automatically rerouted to other users or managers, especially if they can’t be completed

To optimise and automate workflows efficiently, your workflow management system should:

  1. Capture and extract data from hardcopy or digital documents from different sources
  2. Store documents in a secure, central repository with business continuity functions
  3. Route information to the right place or person in a timely manner
  4. Assist employees and executives in taking timely and informed actions
  5. Provide 360-degree visibility on processes and their underlying tasks via dashboards

This piece is a summary of the whitepaper, “Being Busy Is Not Being Productive”. To get more insights into overcoming chronic busyness at the workplace, you can download the whitepaper by filling in your particulars below: