Good policy enforced by a process automation system will provide consistently good results. But beware of garbage in, garbage out. The system will also enforce bad policy if that is what you feed it. You will find out very quickly just how bad your policies are.
Communications This is the most precise and complete definition of communication that I have found:
Communication is the consideration and action of impelling an impulse or particle from source- point across a distance to receipt-point, with the intention of bringing into being at the receipt-point a duplication and understanding of that which emanated from the source-point2.
An excellent working definition of an organization is: Terminals3 and communication lines sharing a common purpose. That is all an organization is. And if that is all there is to an organization, you see the importance of communication. It is the blood and nervous system or an organization. And here is a another very important datum:
The faster and better the quality of an organization’s communications, the more powerful the organization becomes. This is one of the most important areas that process automation can help an organization.
Good process automation does a number of things to communications within an organization:
Improves the quality and completeness of the messages.
Ensures accurate delivery.
Makes generating messages easier and faster.
Makes sure communication actually happens.
Before process automation used computers, communications were handled by passing forms, memos, reports, etc. from one terminal to the next until they arrived at the intended recipient. The medium used was paper and its manual nature made it expensive and slow. E-mail helped speed up the delivery of communications but in many cases the quality suffered.
Process automation can maintain the speed of e-mail and apply it to nearly all required communications within a process while still maintaining (and more often than not, improving) the quality of the message. All of those forms and reports are now routed automatically and electronically.
Process automation improves the quality of the message by requiring certain data before the message can be sent. The orders system will not send an order to the shipping department without complete delivery instructions. The Purchase Order system will not forward a purchase order to purchasing without your supervisor’s approval.
This eliminates an all too common problem with free form communications: Incomplete information. When a supervisor receives a report that is missing key data, he must send the report back to have the missing information included. This wastes his time and the time of the person preparing the report. This slows down the communication line and diminishes the organizations power.
Reference: Scientology 0-8 The Book of Basics, L. Ron Hubbard We define terminal as a receipt point, destination point or relay point for communications.
Requirements and Characteristics of Process Automation