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smart process automation

Breaking Out of Vicious Cycles with Smart Process Automation

Busy managers often find themselves in a vicious cycle, where they are unable to find the time to identify and tackle the root cause of problems leading to those problems recurring or escalating. Ultimately this can drive whole teams towards a way of working where they are constantly reacting to problems and are unable to drive improvement. Breaking out of this reactive cycle can be incredibly difficult as time is limited and it is faster to deal with the consequences than it is to remove the underlying source of the problem. This can lead to entrenched inefficiency and errors and delays that impact customers. Staff facing these challenges can also feel demoralized and powerless, further lowering performance and increasing staff turnover. The question is how to help those in this situation break out of this damaging cycle and two options are:

  1. Add more staff to create the headroom to drive improvement
  2. Utilize tools or technology that prevents the vicious cycle occurring by enabling staff to act more efficiently and proactively

Adding more staff comes at great expense and as efficiency is improved, they would have to be redeployed, notwithstanding the fact that a team that appears inefficient may struggle to secure increased headcount. The right technology could rapidly and permanently improve productivity, but only if it is embraced by those it is designed to help. To succeed the new technology must be intuitive, embedded within workflows and significantly faster and more efficient than what went before. The solution must be seen as an immediate improvement over ways of working staff may have tolerated for years.

Technology such as Smart Process Automation can connect previously disconnected processes and apply intelligent automation to processes and the data associated with them. These connected automated processes reduce workloads and ensure processes are completed more rapidly by reducing the number of human interventions and process discontinuities. The addition of intelligence in the form of recommendation engines and chat bots enables and encourages staff to take note of exceptions and act quickly without the need to switch systems or initiate a new process.

Enabling staff to initiate follow up actions via a simple chat bot for example removes any inconvenience that might have previously delayed or prevented action being taken. As a result, the technology can play an important role in changing human behaviour, shifting teams towards a more proactive way of working. This behaviour change driven by smart automation is as valuable as the effort saved by the automation of the lower value adding processes steps.

Smart process automation can help busy staff break out of reactive cycles, preventing problems escalating and thereby improving customer outcomes and their own job satisfaction.