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In your experience, what are least efficient processes that many companies still rely on today?

Thursday, June 23 2016, 09:49 AM
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 10:05 AM - #Permalink
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    As-is processes that have not been examined for improvement potential and re-issue.

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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 10:52 AM - #Permalink
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    Toungue firmly in cheek - Accounts Payable Processes.

    These processes are horribly inefficient from the perspective of the parties waiting to be paid, but for some reason the CFOs seem to be happy with them ;-)

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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 11:01 AM - #Permalink
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    By far: Any processes that suffer from yet another new set of compliancy or regulatory rules. I have never seen (in my entire career) so many spreadsheet driven workarounds as with these. I have actually written a blog a couple of weeks ago where I use this as example and refer to this. Unfortunately still in Dutch, but included the link anyway below.

    So, basically the inefficiency sits more in dealing with the focus (e.g., compliancy, ERP implementation, new business model...) on a specific process then what the actual process is about in the first place.

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    • karl walter keirstead
      more than a month ago
      Look at an example of the devastation that has permeated most areas of healthcare services delivery in the USA as a result of excessive over compliance/regulation.

      The author presumably is an MD and I hear stories like this daily from others..

      Here is how it goes:

      regulation ->vendor investment ->vendor lock-in ->vendor alignment with the regulators

      Quote from EMR & HIPPA, under a discussion topic "AMA’s Digital Health ‘Snake Oil’ Claim Creates Needless Conflict"

      # meltoots commented on June 22, 2016:

      Unless you are getting as tone deaf as ONC and CMS, there is palpable anger on the street level of front line providers.

      We are NOT going to take this anymore. We are bombarded by ever changing rules, complexities, workarounds, etc as we are desperately trying to care for our patients. NO ONE IS LISTENING!

      We are burdened beyond your comprehension. MU ACI PQRS QUALITY MIPS VBM APM AAPM ACO MOC HIPAA you name it, we are burned out before we start our day.

      We are BEGGING vendors to help us. They are not desperately trying to help providers, they are desperately trying to meet ONC CMS requirements. They could EASILY tell them that we are on the side of the providers and to stop the madness.

      But they are now the happy business that has made it over the hurdles, why not keep out competition, innovation, that will only make them lose business. Vendors WANT policy lock in. So stop with the “they want to get it right” stuff. They could care less.

      I am among many that EVERY day talk about the limited time we have left in this mess. And that's too bad, as we are pretty darn good docs. But ONC and CMS and crappy EHR software/vendors are driving us out.
      "
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 11:01 AM - #Permalink
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    Financial industry, everything associated with buying and selling a house - mortgage lending, loan underwriting, title insurance, escrow. They're still doing it the way they did forty years ago. Ever lost your mind trying to get to a closing table at the eleventh hour buying or selling a house? Waaay too much dependency on human decisioning that is largely arbitrary. These people know what they need in advance and when, yet every closing goes down to the wire.

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  • Accepted Answer

    Ian Gotts
    Ian Gotts
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    Thursday, June 23 2016, 11:37 AM - #Permalink
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    There are some processes that are inefficient, but are tricky to improve (complex, politics, costly system implications) strong ROI.

    But the unacceptable cases are where the process is inefficient, is used a lot, has a big impact - and can be fixed easily. In a word "onboarding";

    onboarding empoyees, onboarding partners, onboarding customers.

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    • karl walter keirstead
      more than a month ago
      By all means, go for the low hanging fruit, except that, however obvious it may seem, practitioners need an orderly process for identifying the unacceptable cases and prioritizing these for improvement.

      Step 1 have on hand an inventory of your processes
      Step 2 be able to identify and weight candidates for improvement
      Step 3 take care to carve out sub-processes that are repetitious (much as we do in computer programming with sub-routines) to ensure that in "improving" a set of processes you don't end up with multiple different embedded sub-processes in your "improved" processes.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 12:30 PM - #Permalink
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    Working with and relying on ERP .....?

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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 02:45 PM - #Permalink
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    Cross-functional processes, by definition. This definition - cross-functional process is a process which each participating function understands differently.

    Thanks,
    AS

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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, June 23 2016, 03:58 PM - #Permalink
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    4 votes

    I know this sounds like a cop-out (and I suppose it is), but... nearly all of them. Being in this business, and then going day to day watching how various organizations operate: it's like having perfect pitch and listening to an orchestra that's anywhere from very slightly to wildly out of tune. Hard to watch without intervening.

    (Now that you mention it, while I don't have perfect pitch, I did recently sit through a production of Les Miz in London that... well, a story for another day perhaps.)

    Still, efficiency isn't necessarily the golden ring of business process. In many case (most, I'd venture), the key metric is user experience. As it turns out, folks who are really good at designing efficient processes aren't always good at designing great user experiences, and vice versa. An application with great UX/CX can be successful even if it doesn't always follow the most efficient path.

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    • karl walter keirstead
      more than a month ago
      The key to success in the area of User Experience, IMO, is to make it easier for users to organize and manage their work within the application as opposed to accomplishing this some other way outside of the application.
    • E Scott Menter
      more than a month ago
      I'd agree. The key to success in nearly any digital endeavor, frankly, is to avoid making users run errands for their computers.
    • John Morris
      more than a month ago
      Kudos for "easier to organize and manage work" (@Karl) and "avoiding making users run errands" ("@Scott"). I'd add the point I made recently: "Not relying on user brains as a memory buffer", meaning that poor UX when context switching is required means that users have to write things down or remember important facts already known to the software. This isn't strictly a BPM or process problem of course. But it's more expensive than we know. And tiring on the brain.
    • karl walter keirstead
      more than a month ago
      @John.. "context switching" in healthcare facilities takes place for each patient at each change-of-shift or during a shift in the case of fast moving process steps. If the interventions are not documented in the eCase, patient safety suffers.

      The more sophisticated healthcare facilities have a "break glass" rule that says if anyone goes off shift without completing an in-progress process step that they took on, anyone wanting to "take over" (i.e break in) must first make voice contact with the healthcare professional who "owned" the step and confirm what was done/not done. An exception report goes to management.

      The way to avoid exception reports is to either complete steps you take on or write up a partial note in the eCase for such steps and put the step back into the resource pool.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, June 24 2016, 10:16 AM - #Permalink
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    5 votes

    Could be many, but the low fruit is probably the ones your employees are making jokes about during lunch.

     

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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, June 24 2016, 04:48 PM - #Permalink
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    3 votes

    Some great insights on inefficient processes. But why should any processes be inefficient?

    The existence of inefficient processes suggests the limits of management rationalism. Islands of tacit resistance are found in the nooks and crannies and even entire departments of enterprise and government service.

    There are business cases. But apparently they haven't been proposed or successful yet. If markets are efficient, inefficiencies would be exposed and replaced.

    So where are the sales evangelists to build momentum for change? Where are the management sponsors who understand the power of BPM and BRM and automation? Why should sub-optimal equilibria persist? Maybe there's a need for some "deep prospecting" . . . 

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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, July 05 2016, 04:37 PM - #Permalink
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    2 votes

    The most inefficiënt can be many, but i like to mention the Project Management area in a lot of companies, where everything seems to be managed as unique one-off activities, with a big waste factor, and actually a lot in that can be managed as a process. (Yes you know them, those big IT hobbyhorse projects, with a compelling (read non achievable) business case. And not to forget the collateral damage related to scope and expectations.

    I know it is hard, but when it is difficult, do it more often, make it repeatable, become good at it, and scale it when it becomes easy.

    • John Morris
      more than a month ago
      There's a whole world waiting to be discovered! That many projects are in fact processes! Both the economics and cultural questions are tough - you have to govern and budget for learning and process construction. And then there's "tacit" and there's "resistance". And resistance appears everywhere -- all the way to the top where surgeons resist checklists. It is the spread of the rational to the every day. Not always welcome.
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