Social Tools, Automation and Processes: A reprise of Infochat

Last Thursday, I managed to catch the last 30 minutes of the AIIM’s Infochat on the topic of ‘How are Social, Local and Mobile Tools Revolutionize Business Processes’.

I’m a not a regular in then AIIM community but I’m glad I made time for the topic and chat.  It was a great exchange with some highlights worth repeating.

Find your problem then pick your tool

During the tweet jam, Bryant Duhon asked for a list of processes that could be improved with social media tools.

Generally, a wide gamut of cases management use cases were offered but here was an exchange on the tweetchat which I think got the dynamic exactly right:

Get a tool to solve a problem rather than get a tool then find a problem.

The Value of Automation

The last question of the tweetjam was on the role of automation in ‘the collaborative business processes of knowledge workers’.  I love this question because increasingly conventional wisdom holds that knowledge workers are an elite brigade that work in an unstructured and nonrepeatable way — That their value is their expertise and there is little place for automation in their life.

This view is completely wrong.  Automation of the right types of work at the right time can help everyone and knowledge workers are no exception.  

Here’s the example I gave on twitter yesterday:

I think that this is a fairly typical situation with knowledge workers.  They might need technology to help them collaborate on difficult problems but they definitely would like technology to rid them of tedious and repetitive tasks so they can spend more time on the challenging parts of their job.

How much of a doctor’s time is wasted on insurance paperwork and not patient care?  Or, further medical training?

Automating the tedious to make time for the important is usually a good first step in any process-centric project.  It, also, tends to be popular which generates buy-in and adoption and long term success.

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