Workflows are fundamental to the modern, process-based working method that many of us are used to today. Without workflows, which are representations of real work, it would be impossible to achieve the level of efficiency and output that humans collectively achieve. But there is a big problem with many of these processes; They require manual labor and lack smart automation.
The modern history of workflows is barely a century old. One of the modern inventors of workflows is Henry Gantt. His Gantt charts are contributed to an Allied victory at the end of World War I, but even though extremely powerful, they were also tedious to operate. Imagine that with every update an entirely new chart needed to be drawn up. After all, there were no printers or copywriters yet.
As the century progressed, so did Gantt charts and other types of workflows. The rational organization of labor turned into a study and became increasingly systematic over time.
And then came the digital era
Computers, invented for the purpose of processing information more quickly, were a true revelation for the way we work and how we organize work. It allowed researchers to develop more complex processes that could be combined with other fundamental parts of organizational structures such as information technology, teams, projects, and hierarchies.
But something was missing in the ongoing search for even better and more efficient workflows. It was still very much a process that required manual input and updates. Companies used pen & paper, post-its, Word or Excel documentation, or similar. And while this might be workable for a simple process, keeping track of the status of a complex workflow, with multiple people involved, can be tedious and difficult.
This is especially true for unique workflows. These are often the most important, yet the hardest to automate. Or so you think.
Your unique workflows as a competitive advantage
Another truism of unique workflows is that there is no standard. This is why inefficiencies are often hidden within the workflow, depending on its complexity; Without a reference, there is no simple way to measure effectiveness.
It falsely leads organizations and managers responsible for workflows to believe that their processes are optimized already and dismiss necessary improvements. This is a mistake because human ingenuity never stops and embracing–or at least considering–new innovations might give the organization an edge over its competitors.
If your organization doesn’t improve its productivity through continuous innovation, another one will.
In the coming period, we will be conceptualizing unique workflows on our blog to show how digitization and automation of your processes can decrease costs, mitigate risks, and uncover precious value-added activity.
If your company has a complex, unique workflow, let us know and we’ll demonstrate the digital advantage you can gain.
Digital transformation: Stifled by insufficient IT capacity
In today’s world, technology is an integral part of every aspect of our daily lives. We are all connected in real-time and guided throughout the day by our mobile phones. Technology has fundamentally changed our personal lives. How does this compare to the business life? Have organizations’ daily operations benefited equally from these technologies?
We look at some of the trends that our societies are subject to and reflect on how organizations are – or aren’t – contending the possibilities.
- Online & on the go
- The growing divide between our personal and working lives
- Mobility + Innovation = Growth