If you manage a business today, you just have to be wondering how to run something better, optimize something, digitize something, or even more important, make something way more efficient or profitable.   

We talk a lot about digitalization, automation and apps and all that is really important. And we do that all that and we like all that.  But something we don't talk about enough is "process management" and how it's different.  The terms might seem interchangeable at first, they are quite different.   

And the order really matters.

Process Management: Steering the Ship

"Process management," is mainly about process improvement, change, or transformation. It is about asserting strategic oversight and control of various activities in the organization. It helps us design, execute, monitor, and continuously improve workflows - to keep them laser focused on business objectives. It is where your knowledge and knowhow make a difference.  Your team can break down the steps, eliminate bottlenecks, and optimize the sequence of actions.

So, when you think about "change" in an organization it almost always involves process management to help managers tweak business activities and workflows. Process management is the toolkit that managers use to gain knowledge and control over business activities and navigate the change. 

You will need to put proper "process management" in place to drive results.  It is about what you have to do to get the job done.  It is about steering. 

Process Automation: Setting Sail with Technology

Process automation, on the other hand, is a technique that leverages technology to mechanize and often simplify tasks. This may be done to improve efficiency, respond quicker, reduce cost, increase capacity, or lower risks. Regardless of its purpose, process automation involves using software, robotics, and sometimes AI to replace manual steps. 

There is a common misconception that the main goal of process automation is to replace human labour. In fact, process automation often enhances human capabilities and allows people to shift their focus onto higher-value tasks that require creativity or critical thinking.  If you're folks are too busy doing the mundane stuff to get to the important stuff done, process automation is often part of an answer.  

Process automation makes you faster, more correct, and helps you to scale.  But if you're not running with optimized or satisfying processes, then scaling them may not be the best idea.  

The Best of Both Worlds - Optimizing Excellent Processes

You can optimize business operations by using process management first and process automation second - as separate tools used to drive effective results. Process management will allow you to see how processes come together and help you identify areas that can benefit from automation. 

Once you have identified the best processes to speed up, use automation to enhance your operations, reduce risks, eliminate repetition, and bring more value to your customers while improving the job satisfaction of your workforce. The true definition of digital transformation.  And this has the extra juicy benefit of making sure you're automation investments are actually focused on goals. 

Some large companies may have in-house teams to do this. Growing companies rarely do. That's one way Adante can help: our certified experts can help you analyze your situation and bring the right combination of knowledge and experience to help your team chart the way forward. 

Management or Automation? Yes. But in the right order.

Contact us for a no-obligation exploratory conversation to learn more. See more information here