While sipping my coffee this morning I couldn't help but think about the various approaches and uses of BPM, and process improvement in general throughout our lives. Even the act of brewing coffee is a process that can be improved.
To say the least, I am not a morning person. Often times I find myself hitting "snooze" repeatedly (dare I say how many times?). These sleepy mornings are followed by the need for coffee- and yes, I say need because until I've had that first cup I am usually still very much asleep and out of tune with the world.
The task of brewing coffee only makes my "process" of waking up and getting moving even harder. For me this includes:
- Getting past hitting the snooze button
- Actually getting up
- Turning the coffee maker on
- Having to wait for the coffee to brew
In an effort to make my process of "getting up and going" faster I purchased a UtiliTech Timer. This fabulous little device has 8 programmable settings and weekday/weekend presets, which allow me to program at what times and on what days I want my coffee maker to turn on and off. For example, during the week my coffee maker turns on at 6:00 am and off at 6:30 am.
By implementing this device into my morning routine, my "process" time has greatly reduced and my process has become more efficient. Knowing that the coffee machine is on and the coffee is ready when that alarm first goes off is the equivalent of having a high priority task waiting in my inbox for me to complete and pass on to the next person in the process.
While the process of brewing coffee is very simple it's easy to see where the value of process improvement can be realized by simply inserting an automation tool. A co-worker wrote an excellent blog around the great benefits many companies realize from automating the smaller, less complicated processes and processes that are repeated several times throughout the day. These benefits include:
- Time Savings- Imagine the coffee example, but being repeated 10 times a day- if it saves me 20 minutes of "snoozing" then I would see a time savings of 200 minutes.
- Increased Productivity- What would you accomplish with an extra 200 minutes, (1 hour and 40 minutes) in your day?
- Cost Savings- Reducing process time, reduces process cost giving you the ability to reallocate financial spending to something more advantageous
These are just a few of the benefits of process automation. If this "process" was more complex and automated using a comprehensive, BPM Suite additional benefits could be realized such as:
- Greater visibility
- Increased flexibility and control
- Electronic reports, monitoring, and alerts
- Adaptive Discovery
While my little timer is no match for the automation benefits and functionalities of BPM Software, it provides valuable insight into the idea. It also goes to show that process improvement can be applied to many processes and areas of our life regardless of role, department, or industry. Click here to read examples of where BPM is making a difference for companies.
Mary Katherine Strupe