Find your heroes
Service improvement at a time of skills shortage is driving demand for process insights to guide digital transformation and automation initiatives. A new generation of process mining software has emerged that can provide the required insights. This data-driven approach to transformation can bring significant benefits both in terms of efficiency and improving work for employees. However, the use of desktop mining technology embedded in the software can lead to concerns about loss of privacy. As an advocate of ethical development and use of technology this is something that I consider to be very important. I strongly believe that organisations must ensure they engage employees from the start of any deployment plans and adopt a human-centric approach that addresses their concerns. There is another dimension to consider too - something that is not often mentioned in the context of desktop mining; that it can help you find your organisation’s heroes whose work would otherwise go unnoticed. It is this latter point that I focus on in this blog.
A friend of mine is a sonographer. Her work involves independently conducting ultrasound examinations, then communicating the results to her patients and other medical staff. She has to make appropriate clinical decisions about the next steps in patient care or make referrals, always following healthcare guidelines, policies and best practice. This involves a lot of administrative tasks including updating patient records, making referrals and handling appointment-related tasks. She has to deliver all of this within short allotted time slots with the rest of her shift packed with other bookings. Consequently, over the years, she has become very competent at juggling her clinical and administrative work to achieve good patient outcomes. She could be a role model for the less experienced sonographers in the hospital if only the managers knew how well she did her work. When I told her about the concept of digital transformation mining that can chart the flow and progress of existing processes across the organisation, she said that she would welcome it because in her work environment nobody knew or appreciated the efficiency with which she worked.
Organisations that have deployed the technology are finding high performers that they did not know they had. For example, in a call desk setting, an agent was found to have developed an excellent approach to her work including a novel way of creating a personal knowledge-base of best answers to quickly resolve client issues. Her employer is looking to template the approach for use by other staff.
We all know how difficult it is to find and hire high performers, and to keep them happy and working in the organisation. If you do not appreciate the ones that you already got, then the loss would be even more painful when you see the impact that their departure has on your business. These heroes can help raise the performance of the whole team and help other individuals do better as well.
Deep process insights allow you to:
· Learn how your high performers work and deliver good outcomes
· Capture and template the knowledge and the approach, to help others to do better as well
· Address any day to day staff challenges that are identified, including:
. Slow software that frustrates staff and reduces productivity
. Complex process flows or questions that can be tackled by providing staff with how-to guides and best answers
· See which employees are overloaded and distribute the work more fairly among team members
· Understand capacity issues and optimise shifts to ensure that your employees are not overloaded
· Understand the impact of your centralised or team-based policies, instructions and templated answers and if they need changing or improving
· Identify and automate repetitive parts of processes to free up staff to do the more interesting work
· Improve overall capacity without hiring more staff and optimising shifts
We need to understand the full potential of new technologies and what they can offer. The new generation of process mining software can help you identify your high performers as well as find opportunities for digital transformation.
That said, we have all come across technology deployments that have gone wrong purely because the stakeholders were not consulted and on-boarded. Let’s not make the same mistake again. The full benefits of new technology can be realised with an inclusive approach to its adoption, one that engages with employees and other stakeholders from the start and addresses their concerns. Without this approach organisations could be missing out on both the most, and the least recognised benefits of the technology.