An Introduction to Automated and Interactive Processes
All managers face the same question: “How do I improve the way my business works?”
Well, according to BPTrends 2016 report, the percentage of executives who see processes as the crucial way to drive their businesses forward is 24 times the number who always have standard processes to follow and 6 times the number who always document their processes. Executives see the value yet fail with the execution.
Clearly, we need to investigate how processes can be employed better in the workplace.
Microsoft’s Developer Network see effective processes as fitting into two neat categories: automated processes which are software driven and interactive processes which are human-focused while incorporating automation.
We’re going to split this into three sections:
- Human-driven processes
- Automated processes
- Interactive processes which combine the two
We’ll look at what each is, where each is most useful, and I’ll present use cases for each.
Employing processes within your team
What is a process? A process can be generally defined as the series of steps which need to be followed to complete a task.
Operating with a process increases productivity, helps organize workflows across the company, and increases employee accountability. Standardized processes also make sure that quality is consistently high through making sure best practices are always followed and optimized over time.
At Process Street, we create a process every time we have a task which we need to do more than twice. Repeatable tasks need processes to make certain the task is completed to the highest standard every time. Certain processes which are highly repeatable can be automated – fully or partly – but sometimes a process has to revolve around the individuals undertaking it.
When to take a human-oriented approach
Every time we publish a blog post, as part of our writing workflow we run our pre-publish checklist. This checklist has evolved over time to encompass all the necessary steps to optimize our articles.
It could be big things like checking for filler words and style, undertaking keyword research, or using bolding to make a post scannable. Or it could be small things like checking alt tags on images contain a keyword, checking title and subtitle capitalization parameters are met, and correctly categorizing the article.
The vast majority of tasks within this process are tasks which are better done by a person. They are tasks which require research, scrutiny, and creativity.
Having well documented human-focused processes:
- Can be more flexible than fixed automated processes.
- Utilize the wealth of expertise your employees bring to the company.
- Are important for personal interactions with customers and clients.
- Can be improved in creative ways through employee suggestions from engagement with the process.
Processes centered around laying out standard operating procedures for your employees are useful in use cases like content creation, sales, customer service, and more.
Processes like these are best allocated to people and can be used to guide the strengths of your employees. These kinds of processes help your employees focus on what they are best at. But they wouldn’t be able to do Go to the full article.