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We shall automate real business problems and not 'crazy' thoughts

Posted by J, SREEKUMAR at Tuesday, 12/11/2012 7:54 am
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3.0 from 62 votes
Even though we are talking much about role of technology in business, process automation, outsource non-core activities and focus on core jobs, many times, it is quite usual to find some crazy automation requirements.

May be it is high time to get out of biased approach towards people processes and automation. We need to trust people and empower them to take ownership

If intention is not to enable transparency in people processes, cut down unnecessary steps in a process and at the same time introduce a fancy tool as part of the so called ‘OD’ or ‘Corporate Renovation’ programme or something else, for them automation can be just another expense. For others, this is going to be an investment

Let’s take a simple people process, employee leave process workflow

Typical employee leave process

When we use a good tool to automate leave process, things will change, automatically and in turn, help people to reorient themselves to save quality time

Automated Employee Leave process

1. Employee signs in via Employee Self Service
2. Checks leave balance, plan leave
3. Furnish leave request to immediate supervisor, online with automatic intimation to other key stakeholders
4. Supervisor reviews leave and accept or forwards to leave approver
5. Leave approver reviews, approves or rejects it.
6. As and when it happen, mail intimation goes to Employee, HR and Payroll
7. The same info gets updated in leave master for Payroll process

On top of this, users may come up with requirements like provision for a centralized user to apply for leave on behalf of all employees. Be careful, you are going to hamper the entire benefits of self service by making it centralized. Before getting in to these sort of peculiar requirements, get the concurrence of people those who drives the process automation

Before getting in to impulsive decisions on automation, think, brainstorm, scribble, plan about automation, then act.

Basic Tips

1. Make the process simple and hence the automation
2. Do not depend on process in ‘mind’, prepare a written blueprint
3. Fix the process first and then get in to automation
4. Do not go after the cheapest vendor. Evaluate, check for justifications and arrive at the ROI
5. Do not go after fancy advertisements, check references, read testimonials and evaluate the software

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