Now that we’ve analyzed our Account Maintenance process at a macro level, any steps that have that special sub-process Visio symbol (see below) will require additional analysis.
Not at all sub-processes require this analysis, but you’ll almost always find areas for improvement when you do.
This Visio diagram below sh0ws an analysis of the Account Maintenance (Future State) “Kicks off approval workflow to user’s manager” sub-process within SharePoint 2007. While I really like what SharePoint 2007 workflows do for us, making managers leave email to go to a web site to approve a workflow limits efficiency. There are third party tools that allow you to access mobile pages of workflows using your Blackberry, but can’t someone code an approval button that you simply click?
After reviewing this process and applying SharePoint to the mix, I decided to see what I could do with Service Manager 2010.
I really like what I see now. The Service Manager flowchart eliminates the Help Desk involvement and significantly reduced the number of steps (and time) to getting our customer’s request completed.
While SharePoint 2007 gives you a pretty good automation path, Service Manager 2010 can do a better job. Right of the box, Service Manager 2010 gives you control over Active Directory (AD) account maintenance. Take a look at Ander’s workflow for a password change request using SM 2010. With his suggestion and other workflows, I’ll be able to automate a lot of our routine AD requests.
To summarize, any system you try to use will only be as effective as your processes. Good IT is an enabler, bad IT is a cost center. Standardizing and applying consistent and measurable processes with solid metrics for success will help you achieve continual improvement. In today’s workflow automation IT world, I hope I’ve provided you a simple way to do this. Give me a shout if you need more help.