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How to get the most out of your operations teams?

Altkom 6 min Read


Are you struggling with a backlog of cases to be processed by your operation teams?

Do you need to consider different business priorities, SLA’s, complexity, required skills or required workload for each of the case?

Do your teams use many systems or applications to complete those cases?

Answering ones “yes” means, that Digital Workload Manager may be a perfect remedy for your challenges.

Did you mean workflow or workload?

It is important to understand the difference. Operation teams execute different tasks, assuring your customer request is handled with the highest quality and best time. Fulfilment of a request follows a process, that needs to be defined, constantly monitored, evaluated and adapted if needed. For this purpose and automation of those processes we use workflow engines like Camunda.

Your organization may be already far with the process driven approach and already has many of them automated and digitalized. To achieve operational excellence you need to go further. You need to control the workload, that is necessary to perform manual tasks and use all available data to execute it by the most suitable people and just in time.

Just-in-time is not only for production. Business operations should work the same way.

Coming back to the problem. You have a pile of cases, a bunch of people, that should handle them and customers with different profiles and expectations waiting to be served. In every area you must consider a set of parameters, that change in real time and that you must take into account. Deciding which task should be handled next determines, whether your goals will be achieved and your customers will be satisfied.

The situation changes constantly (new cases in the pile, people calling sick, change of priorities) and you must react immediately.

digital workload manager scheme

To assure the most efficient way of working there some principles to follow.

You should focus on currently assigned task

You do not want to be distracted by the volume of cases still to be processed. You do not want to switch from unfinished task because another one with high priority just popped in. Everyone should have only one task assigned at a time.

You need a solution, that will tell you what to do next

You do not want to be burden with the decision which task to execute next – even a list of 5 or 10 tasks may lead to inefficiencies. Once somebody finishes a task system should determine for him a new one (exactly one) from the backlog. It must be smart enough to handle all the parameters, different strategies and scenarios.

In case of inability to meet the expected results or being close to such situation, managers are notified and either adapt the parameters or introduce manual steering.

You should have one solution to execute all tasks

Assigning and managing a task is one thing, executing it is another one. You need a solution, that will connect with other systems allowing you to execute all tasks from one place.

To know how to execute the task, some information must be retrieved from other systems (next to the data provided at the start of the process) and presented to you in most efficient way. New information or your decision should be stored and distributed to the adequate systems.

Following parameters should be managed

You need to determine parameters, that do not change in real time and define the logic to calculate the dynamic ones. You need to keep track of them and maintain on a proper level.

Case parameters:

  • Complexity – business parameters and process definition diagram indicating all the dependencies.
  • Workload – actual time needed to execute each manual step in this process.
  • Time – average time of executing the whole process.

Workload and Time may be managed by administrator (updating from time to time) or can be calculated in real time.

Operation teams’ parameters:

  • Skills – determine which cases or tasks in the process a person is capable of handling.
  • Availability – expected and unexpected leaves, working hours. This includes also custom enterprise business calendar.
  • Authorization – limits under which a person is entitled to execute certain task or handle the whole case.
  • Efficiency – how good an individual is in executing certain tasks.

Efficiency may be managed by administrator (updating from time to time) or can be calculated in real time.

Customer perspective parameters:

  • SLA’s – agreements with client indicating maximum time, where given case should be processed. It also includes the priority of cases.
  • Legal constraints – legal obligation to process the case in given time.
  • Benchmark – your internal assumption concerning the expected time of case and its task processing.

Whatever is shorter in time: SLA, legal constraint, benchmark, it is taken into account.

Last, but not least always look for automation

There are tasks that can’t be automated for several reason. Those reason change in time and you should always evaluate them and find places in your process that could and are worth of automating. You should have a solution that will let you automate selected tasks in the process, without impacting the whole process and giving you the flexibility to easily adapt the related business logic. For this purpose you should use open workflow and decision engines like Camunda.

Core principles

Digital Workload Manager is a solution that lets you manage all this complexity and at the same time give you one place to execute all tasks.

This significantly speeds up the processing time and improves user experience of operation teams. It is easier to onboard new people in the team, there is no need to train them in many different systems and they are led by the hand from the very beginning. Having so much information about the performance will enable you to determine a fair motivation system.

The most important is that the solution will assure all your cases are executed in time allowing you to achieve expected performance indicators. You will be warned about potential bottlenecks and will have the time to react properly.

Piotr Mazur
Digital Transformation Solution Manager