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Manage projects your way

When you start your business process design, you should be aware of one common mistake. It is process complication, or, at the other side – process simplification. Every business process must be organized to achieve as many benefits, as possible. And, at the same time, to spend minimum resources. That’s the key feature of successful business.

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OK – you’ve built successful company, with significant revenue. What’s the next step? One day you will realize that you need more control over the process. You need it to make sure your customers are satisfied with the service and won’t leave your company. You need it to immediately be notified, when some your process will stop because of some unplanned reason. You need it to know if all your employees are busied with their work. Most effective way to improve your control over the process is to use process automation software. And that’s where I want to focus in this article.

Comindware Tracker is a great software to manage your business processes. You can get the maximum out of it if you put into life the principal of effectiveness when designing the processes with Comindware Workflow Editor. Here is a couple of examples that might help you with it.

I’ve recently been a witness of such situation, when one of our customers contacted us and told that using business process management system in his company slowed down processes. He owns a small furniture manufacture company. We’ve overviewed his processes. And we realized that he had designed over-complicated processes in Comindware Tracker. Have you known that your simple dinner table is built of about 50-100 details? I haven’t. The manufacturer’s problem was that he had created a workflow step for each assemblage step. Tightened the screw? Go to the Comindware Tracker and move process to the next step. Varnished the tabletop? Move to the next step. And so on. One of his processes had 73 steps in total. Of course, this was an ineffective kind of process design – his employees were spending about 40% of time just to move the automated process item to the next step. This is a great example of process over-complication. We’ve helped him with processes redesign and reduced the number of steps to the 5-15 in each process. This not only improved performance of his employees, but also gave him a clearer look – of what is currently happening. He’s happy now (hi, Jim, if you’re reading this)!

Another example I want to share with you is the opposite – process over-simplification. One of our customers just started his work and his company has been hiring a lot of software developers. I have some experience in that, and I know that this is a very complicated process. Getting job in some software development companies can take a month, or even more. You can visit its office several times, take place in several interviews with different people, make test assignments, etc. So, our customer has designed a simple process – one of his developers has been searching for appropriate CVs in LinkedIn, then candidate was interviewed by the same person in the office and an offer was made. That was his overview of the process. And that was how he has designed the process in the Comindware Workflow Editor. Unfortunately, he didn’t know, that actually several HR employees were busied with CVs search. And after that, there were phone interviews. And test assignments. And 3-5 interviews in the office by several different developers. And after that one developer of several candidates was chosen. So, after several weeks of this ‘lack of knowledge’, he asked his employees – why development team completion is behind the schedule? Why all and ‘What are you actually doing’? He was shocked, when actually realized – how complicated a software developer hiring process is. And then he has realized that almost 30 software developers were hired for the last several weeks. He offered his developers bounty for such a good job. That is, actually, an example of simplification and, also, an example of bad process understanding.

Well, I hope you’ve got the point. You should design your processes to be effective. And you should effectively design the same processes in the business process management tool. Keep in mind, that they can actually be very different. Do not make a naïve automation of your actual processes, when the steps are exactly the same. Think if you can omit some steps to improve performance. Check if you have missed some steps, which are essential for that process. And never stop thinking of performance – redesign your process, if you have found a way to improve its effectiveness.

And the last thing I want to say today – choose the right tools for your business processes management. I am slightly prejudiced. But I am really admired of Comindware Tracker, and (as a friend to the friend) – I recommend you to use this tool in your company. Do not miss the opportunity to improve your processes performance with Comindware Tracker.

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Anastasia Chumakova is Product Marketing Analyst and Workflow Automation Expert at Comindware.
She currently explores online process management product development trends, contributes to and provides tips for better use of Comindware Tracker and online work management solutions.

Posted on:  in Leadership, Project World