While it is often stories of sweeping transformation that take the spotlight, when it comes to e-workflow, often small steps have a big impact. In fact, we advocate implementing e-workflow in stages, so you can start to see the benefits without attempting to do too much at once. Ultimately, these small steps are worth celebrating on their own, and add up to that transformative tale.
Perhaps you are considering changing a manual workflow to an e-workflow in just one department for now. Or, maybe you are taking on a small scale workflow redesign that is not destined to grow any larger. These scenarios, and others taking a scaled-down approach, show the power of e-workflow is not limited by size. Here are a few examples of how baby steps can lead to success worth celebrating.
A Quick Process Redesign
Grantbook, an organization that helps grant makers find and use the right tech, completed what they call a mini-sprint to quickly improve with tech. Instead of undergoing an arduous search for systems that would help make their processes better, they focused on one key area: job applications. In just a week and a half, they evaluated, selected, and implemented a better workflow by using a simple process.
Grantbook looked at their values and design principles, then reduced complexity by investigating tools already in their tech ecosystem. After implementing the new systems they committed to continually evaluating and iterating to ensure the workflow is still the best it can be.
It is a good example of how a quick change can make a world of difference, without having to undergo a huge ordeal to make it happen. Of course, the people at Grantbook are poised to quickly find and adopt tech, but their approach can be universal. Focus on one key thing, and don’t overcomplicate what you need to change in order to make that key thing better.
A Slow Start Leads to Deeper Change
In a previous article for this series we looked at case studies for library workflow redesign. Many of these studies are a great example of successful baby steps, too. For example, when the Tri-College Library Consortium wanted to improve digital workflow, they started with three hours of meetings a week, over six months. This was not a quick rush into improvement, but a period which “provided ample time to strategically plan a series of workflow improvements.”
The group ultimately determined which tools and services they could purchase to improve e-resources and the workflow for using them. At the same time, those months of meetings led to process improvements such as creating a new work role, and improving communication.
As the research paper says, if the Tri-College consortium had gone ahead without a thoughtful assessment, the rest of their improvements would not have worked as well. It goes to show that sometimes the first step is a deep dive into what you want e-workflow to do.
Small Steps with Added Benefits
One of our clients, Pulaski County Schools, was struggling to keep up with the ways its end users were accessing the help desk. With emails and voicemails coming in, technicians could not report on the status of service tickets easily or accurately. Instead of completely dismantling the entire help desk system, they simply used everything HelpDesk to manage requests and service tickets.
The client could show end users how everything HelpDesk is beneficial to getting up to date reports on the status of service tickets. Seeing how this handled their chief complaint of not getting updates, end users were happy to use the system. They have easily moved away from sending emails and leaving voicemails, entering help desk tickets online instead.
This was one small step that ultimately created a cascade of other benefits. With every ticket accounted for, technicians had access to more, and more accurate, data. That information is used to create the reports school administrators and county officers want. In fact, those reports are automated, sent to the individual requesting them and accessible through self-service.
In the end, that basic change to help desk ticketing freed up a lot of time for Pulaski County Schools employees, and generated valuable metrics. The help desk has a better reputation, and everyone is more productive.
Our cloud-based e-workflow and work from home solutions, including GroupLink everything HelpDesk, SafestSchools and Workflow Process and Incident Tracking, put small steps into action. Using these platforms our clients experience greater efficiency, collaboration, and accountability. With a high level of integration and automation, along with many other features and benefits, success is well within your reach.