Forgetting to re-work business processes for a new system is a bit like introducing concrete to replace muddy paths without straightening them to take out bends and kinks that are no longer needed. In other words, "concreting the cowpath".

If you are implementing an Information Management solution, you will need to think about the business processes that may be affected. The most obvious example is when a document imaging and workflow technologies are introduced to a business process that is uses paper documents. If properly implemented, this will increase productivity and save costs. But if the processes are not changed to take advantage of the new technologies, productivity can actually drop.

This is because some steps of many business processes are necessary only because of the technological base that supports the process. For example, a paper base may include steps such as signing for the receipt of documents, logging transmittal, or certifying a copy - all steps that are irrelevant with document management and imaging. If these steps are left unchanged when the new solution is implemented, the solution will make things worse rather than better.

Also, business processes tend to accrete unnecessary steps. We find steps that serve no useful purpose but that are carried out only because "that is the way we have always done it here". These steps too should be removed as part of the introduction of a new solution.

Inforesight consultants can work with you to analyse and redesign business processes so that they maximise its benefits.

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Photograph by Robbie Sproule.

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