What is it?
My first job was an itinerant one – teaching clarinet in, on average, 18 schools each week. I literally had 10 minutes to get from one school to the next three kilometres away. I learnt very quickly to be organised – and to make sure my personal work processes ensured maximum efficiency.
My typical work day went something like this:
Pack all my teaching equipment in the car in the right order (ie order of school visits)
Check I had enough petrol to last the day (no time to fill up between schools)
Check odometer and make the first entry in my travel log (with several subsequent entries)
Arrive at 1st school and meet principal/music teacher for updates on school events / merit certificates required
Check and sign student practice record books
Teach class and document work set for the week
Travel to the next school and repeat previous 4 steps.
Each of the above tasks were not only incredibly manual but included rules and conditions I had to meet. Most of these were carried in my head, and no-one ever checked them. These days we are blessed with software which can automate a lot of mundane tasks, particularly rules such as if this occurs then this needs to happen.
From start to finish, a business process such as my typical teaching day is a basic workflow.
Why is it important?
My teaching job left no latitude for duplication, wasting time or retracing my steps. Most business we see do all three of these things, mostly unintentionally, and usually because organic growth rarely included strategic planning.
Instituting logical workflows not only makes sense, it saves time and money, usually aids efficiency and dramatically increases productivity. A good workflow supported by a rules engine such as Decisions will align with governance procedures and provide evidence of compliance by all staff with your business rules. It will prove everything has been done according to your checks and balances.
Today sophisticated platforms such as Decisions can provide not only automated workflows, but can incorporate business rules specific to your environment, making sure everything has been completed correctly. Many platforms incorporate workflows, but as Decisions also includes a rules engine and integration mechanisms allowing systems to talk to each other, it had our immediate attention. Even more impressive, Decisions requires no code to start implementing workflows, business rules or integration between existing systems.
How can you improve workflows?
Unfortunately, we often meet business leaders who don’t have a full understanding of what and how things are being done in their business – particularly at the lower levels. We can help you document these processes. This includes mapping:
What’s happening with your data
What process requires what data to be sent to which system
How that data is converted for use by another system.
You will then have a basic understanding of existing workflows, or lack of them. A process map will also indicate where improvements can be made, particularly if integrations are possible.
A good business analyst will work with you to develop a strategy to improve current processes and workflows, then prioritise and plan work to be done. All this sounds quite daunting, particularly for a former peripatetic teacher like me. My first job left me needing to be in control. Decisions has enabled us to easily automate many of our workflow processes, build in our required business rules to support them, and (having a no-code base) has not required a developer to do it. I can use PowerPoint, therefore I can use Decisions. I am in control!
If you would like to get back in control or want to learn more about making your workflows more efficient, please feel free to contact us for a no obligation chat: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 9485 0725.