Using technology to drive process
IT News

Define your process…

It can often be the case that when you have done things a particular way for so long, or have only been shown how to approach a task in a particular manner that it’s hard to shake the feeling that anything else is blasphemy. Contrarily, sprucing things up, or being provided with alternative suggestions can sometimes be the spark you need to reflect and revamp existing process into more effective ones.

A simple example would be moving from a paper-based system to a digital one. There are pros and cons to both, but in the case of the latter system, the pros tend to stack up. We are blessed, in a sense, in this day an age with AI powered tips that can appear subtly in the rotunda of programs in use on any given day. This can vary from something small such as a “did you mean to do this” message through to a “do this to change your life!” alert. All of these styled messages are delivered from existing information about your digital behaviour and habits.

If you aren’t working at an optimum efficiency or are taking the long way around to complete a task, those annoying tool-tips may actually be worth heeding. The point is, just because you’ve always done something a certain way, it doesn’t always mean it’s the best way for your business process. Many suggestions within Office 365, for example, can compound to provide incredibly poignant messages that educate you on not only on how to best use their products, but how to use them in an enlightening and enriching way.

There isn’t one particular method you can put your finger on but trying something new may help in the long run. In the case of Office, having a review of what’s available in the suite can reap dividends in trimming the fat in terms how many of the tools you use. I’m sure even Microsoft would admit that not every program in the entire Office 365 ecosystem is right for every business. In this generation I would highly recommend leveraging technology where possible in your business, but you do of course need to have an honest look at how your business functions, and what aspects of technology will lend themselves well to your needs.

Once you’ve identified the requirements of your business, then begins the task of planning how to do this and with which tools. You’ll need to consider any financial decisions and what assistance will be required to complete any setup. User training is also a crucial part of any new adoptions, as they will be the driving force behind the success (or failure) of any new process revolution, especially when technology is involved.

Think about how your process relates to users. If people spend half of their day creating or searching for documentation, look into ways that an organised file structure can be implemented, and then indulge people with how to create templates that all staff members can use. It’s a simple method that can be effective once complete. Imagine a well organised, easy to search file structure that contains pre-made, blank slate documents that simply require data to be inputted. The only time or effort required from users then is simply data. You’ve then saved on the time wasted trying to find a file, as well as the time used on making the same document from scratch every time.

Processes come in all shapes and sizes and relate to many different aspects of your business, so don’t force a square into a circle just you can say you’ve made a change for changes sake. Realistically not every process needs revamping, but if you take the time to understand your current reality, the tools at your disposal and how to use them, that should inform your decision making moving forward. This will allow you to craft clever and sensible changes that benefit your business through effective processes.

Tightening the screws within your business will help you perform better. Processes help to make sure things flow as intended and play a part in the aforementioned screw tightening. If you staff are struggling, have an honest look at refining the process that involve them. Can automation be introduced? Do they have the right tools (hardware/software) to complete their task(s)? You’d be surprised how much can be an achieved and how versatile a platform Microsoft Office can be when you have a dynamic approach to using it.

If you would like to learn more about the Office ecosystem and how it relates to your business and its processes, you can contact us on 01843 572 600 where we will happy to discuss further.