Micro Sleeps

How can we get a clear view of manual processes and fully understand their impact to an organisations efficiency, impact on innovation and their impact on culture? 

Many people in organisations deal with manual processes every day due to an ineffective application of technology to the right task. 

People confronting many manual processes in their day seem to have micro sleeps. Imagine driving a familiar route home from work. You arrive at home. Slap the keys on the bench and realise wow wait what I got home? Its a task that is very manual but forgetful. 

When I talk to organisations and ask about processes that could be automated as part of their workflow often people say "Ummm there isn't much manual work". Then I ask "What is your main priority of the day"...."Well it is to complete this report for the CEO"....."How do you complete that report?".

I often get stories of multiple emails, spreadsheets and databases being used to generate this report and when we map this in pen and paper together they are a little shocked (and a little impressed with themselves) of the length and time it takes them to complete such a seemingly benign task.

We map above the line all the manual steps below the line all the automated steps in the process flow. 

Manual processes breed manual processes. Don't just take them on face value. 2 minutes in the hands of one person probably means that another 5 people need to spend at minimum another 2 minutes on that process. Often you will find the person at the end of this manual flow has to spend 5X as much time to consolidate, close out and finalise a process. 

Manual processes have many costs associated to them. Cultural costs. Wage costs. Customer focus costs. Innovation costs. To only name a few. Stamp them out!