It is sometimes startling the number of steps that a seemingly simple task has to go through before it is completed. We’ve seen as many as 20-30 hops along the way, especially when you examine the types of tasks that require a lot of looping back and forth between people. While most processes are far simpler than this, they are still usually more complex than one might initially think.
There is a side benefit of using ezCollaborator to manage your workload more efficiently. As each task hops from person the person, this event is automatically recorded in an event log. This event log acts much like a blog that records who did what and when along the chain of the process. This audit trail can be used to gain new insights as to how tasks are really routed and how you might go about streamlining your operations.
Here are 3 ideas of how you can use these logs to study and improve your operations:
You can periodically scan the event logs for certain types of tasks that seem problematic to you. From here, you might quickly see opportunities for removing roadblocks or reducing rework. Sometimes a simple policy change can make a big difference.
You can isolate a number of similar tasks and document the process in a block diagram. Having several tasks to look at can help you see the typical permutations for when things don’t go as planned. Once you’ve completed your block diagram (complete with all the exceptions to the rule), you can design new procedures to improve operations. These block diagrams can also serve to clarify your new processes and related policies to cross-functional management teams.
You can hire a business management consultant to come in and help document and redesign specific areas of your operations. These event logs can save a lot of consulting time and can give your consultant valuable real-world information to develop more detailed and conclusive recommendations for change. If you don’t already have a consultant for this type of analysis, we can provide these services to you.