OK – you’ve decided to implement ITIL® processes and you’re trying to figure out ways to make it really work well. Consider using process automation/management tools to implement your ITIL processes! These tools unite an organization’s people, process (ITIL or Business Processes), and technology in a seamless cost effective manner that significantly increases productivity and profitability. How so? These tools…
1. Increase Organizational Visibility – these tools make it possible to tie processes and tasks to specific department, teams and individual contributors in a way that allows you to see your true capacity to perform work. You can see who is over utilized or underutilized. You can see how much work gets done and how long it takes at every level of your organization. This gives you the ability to make evidence-based decisions on the impact of taking on new work (scale up or use the existing staff?) and making key delivery commitments.
2. Enable Real-Time Speed – these tools are driven by workflow decision engines that eliminate slack time between tasks. The engine can tell when a task is done and immediately securely move the task (and its deliverable) along to the next contributor (even a customer or supplier). One of the best ways to ensure a task gets finished on time is to start it on time.
3. Improve Quality – One of the major reasons that quality suffers is because key steps are missed in the creation of a deliverable, as well as missing opportunities to examine the deliverable along the way to ensure key specifications are met along the way. Process automation ensures that no steps are missed, and that work products are routed through key inspection points without fail.
4. Ensure Accountability / Regulatory Compliance – Process management tools track when tasks are started, when they are completed, and how long they took to complete. That provides an unmatched ability to see who is performing, who needs coaching, and who needs a new assignment. The workflow engine keeps a perfect unalterable audit trail of all activities, so you’ll pass your Sarbannes-Oxley (SOX) audit with flying colors.
5. Deliver Financial Performance – Process management and automation is key to eliminating the Seven Wastes (check out Lean for Service/Six Sigma for a definition) inherent in poorly thought-out processes. Eliminating waste lowers cost, improves margins, retains/gains customers and speeds up cash flow. Process automation literally pays for itself many times over.
The result is an improved capability to compete. Process automation/management tools have steadily declined in price and are now within reach of just about every organization, no matter how large or small. It’s “found money” when you take advantage of them. Use process automation/management tools to implement your ITIL processes.
Frank Herman is a Principal for LeanVista LLC. LeanVista improves business performance through the application of improved business and technology processes.