Until recently, my 84-year old mother used to keep all her personal phone numbers in an old address book. This address book is no ordinary address book – it contains the phone numbers of everyone she’s ever met since she was in her early thirties.
Over the last 50 years – since 1968 to be precise – my mother has religiously collected the names and numbers of friends and relatives in this worn out book – all in alphabetical order. Many of the entries have been written over or contain glued in cuttings with new numbers, as people moved house, bought into the mobile phone craze in the late 1990s, and eventually moved onto smartphones.
Educating the experienced
One of my personal successes in the last five years is training my mother to store her phone numbers in a smartphone. She’s now at the stage where she can add a frequently used contact and doesn’t need to open her address book to locate the name and number before dialing. If she needs to call my cousin, she just hits the short cut icon and it dials. It’s fast, efficient, and she loves the fact that calling someone is just a touch away.
Don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t been an easy change for my mother. “Eliminating” non-value adding steps is all about challenging a particular mindset or habit that has developed over a period of time – and it can be extremely painful. But by demonstrating how life can be made simpler and the improved outcomes we can enjoy, such as reduced time, cost, and effort in carrying out a task, this pain can be alleviated.
I’m proud to say that my mother has made the phoning process easier, eliminating the unnecessary steps such as having to add in or amend new numbers, searching through 50 years worth of phone numbers, and even the actual number input to dial.
ESOAR – why change a habit of a lifetime?
We can also apply this mindset change to our business operations. At Capgemini, we’ve developed a methodology call ESOAR – Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, Robotize – which works by continuously improving the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations through a combination of process, technology, and user experience.
In the light of leveraging intelligent automation, the “Eliminate” step of ESOAR (I’ll discuss the other “SOAR” steps in future blogs) identifies opportunities to remove wasteful or non-value adding processes by addressing the root cause for waste and barriers to a standard service. Rather than just automating every single process step, ESOAR starts by eliminating all unnecessary processing activities prior to automation.
What follows is a complete re-engineering of your processes that sets the agenda for a holistic approach to transformation of your business operations, driving efficiency savings and best practice across your business.
Improved business outcomes
Convincing my octogenarian mother to ditch her 50-year old address book was tough, but here’s what I’ve learnt. When you start to eliminate non-value adding steps from your business processes, efficiency and cost savings will follow!
My next mission is to graduate her on to text messaging – wish me luck!
To learn more about how Capgemini’s ESOAR methodology can re-engineer your processes to help reimagine your business operations, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the “small steps” our teams have taken on the road to big, successful transformations.
Atul Kulshreshtha is a tech savvy business leader with 30 years’ experience in BPO and shared services transformation. He is passionate about operational excellence, talent development, and exploring new disruptive technologies that can enhance the efficiency of business operations. He has successfully designed and implemented value-adding solutions for clients across a range of businesses.