Business outcomes

Maximize Business Outcomes: An IT Playbook

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Strategy #1: Think people-first.

  1. At the outset of designing a new process, ask yourself the following questions: What kind of workflow would save my employees the most time, cut down on menial follow ups, and allow them to focus most purposefully on the things they’re best at? What do they absolutely loathe doing right now? Where do people prefer to work? Can I optimize a process without introducing a new interface that people must adopt? (What applications are they already using?).
  2. Next, seek out technology solutions that will enable you to design processes that can adapt to employees’ unique preferences and needs in this manner — and that allow the possibility of creating backup plans. FYI: The tool you’re looking for must allow you to create processes that are differentiated. Meaning: capable of meeting employees where they already are, accommodating their working styles, and that are resistant to breaking. This technology should function behind-the-scenes, in the manner of an operating system that only process designers control. An example of such a solution is Tonkean’s Adaptive Business Operations (ABO) platform, which we’ve designed to function in what we call “The Orchestration Layer” of your company’s operations.

Strategy #2: Reduce app-dependency to drive business outcomes.

The goal here is to consolidate the number of applications or work environments you use; the tools your processes rely on — and that, in turn, your people interact with — should be truly essential.

To that end, take inventory and determine which tools you’re currently using are most crucial.

Then, in designing the processes you’ll need to run at scale, use only the technology tools that are most essential.

Finally, utilize a platform that itself will effectively integrate these disparate apps and reduce the number of interfaces people need to directly touch — making it possible for support managers who’re working in Zendesk to collaborate seamlessly with engineers in Jira, say — and that will automate the menial tasks (things like cross-platform data input) that encumber multi-tool-dependent processes to begin with.

Strategy #3: Design processes that use automation, but keep humans-in-the-loop to drive business outcomes

  • When identifying processes to augment with automation, don’t limit candidates to processes that mandate repetitive data entry tasks. Also include processes where there is unnecessary manual work due to coordinating people (approval processes, escalations, cross-team information sharing). Look holistically at processes to determine what steps actually need people and what steps should be handled by technology.
  • Create a structure so that in times of disruption or uncertainty, people are kept abreast of the process and item details to be able to step in and make judgement calls.
  • Focus on the connection points between automated actions and human actions to ensure smooth transitions where the person is provided full context.
  • Use an ABO platform that allows you to design processes in which all the disparate tasks you want to automate can be coordinated by one person at the same time.

The Tonkean platform, in particular, allows you to automate tasks (by way of adaptive modules) such as routing & delegating work, analyzing and entering data, collecting, monitoring and reporting information, and coordinating approvals and follow-ups with people — all under the supervision of a human-in-the-loop, who can make adjustments as needed, and in effect coordinate traffic to ensure the automation is working as needed.

Conclusion: Adopt an adaptive Business Operations platform.

Click here to download the full eBook, which includes more strategies, additional analysis, data, and in-depth advice for IT professionals.

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