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Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Statistics have gotten a bad rap from some circles. Many people have stopped believing in statistical reports after self-serving debacles such as the Bell Curve report which “proves” African-Americans are inherently less intelligent.

This dribble comes from incorrect data (or its seedier cousin, outright lies) and from the inability to evaluate the statistics correctly. For an organization (any organization whether a business or a government,) to manage its business, it needs accurate statistics relating to its own functions and their environment. Part of having accurate statistics is having the right statistics.

Stats can be hard to pin down if you do not plan them into your processes. When planning your process automation system decide on what stats need to be measured in order to accurately evaluate the health and productivity of the process. If these are known in advance then they can be accounted for in the process and the databases.

A manager will no longer need to ask for the weekly reports and wait 2 days for them to arrive, and how many want to bet that if he asked for the same report, for the same time period a week later, the numbers would be different. Instead, he can pop up a screen that lays all of the stats out for him. He can change from hourly to weekly to yearly data to see trends. A good managerial stats system will also allow him to enter information about changes in the system, personnel, policies and such. That way he can see any date-coincident factors that may have improved or degraded the stats. The system will allow the manager to view the information in many ways so he can reveal hidden associations.

You could consider this a sub-set or special case in our attempt to improve communications within the organization.

Paper Summary

There are three key elements to consider when designing such a system: Policy Enforcement, Communication and Productivity. Improving and speeding up communications beefs up an organization immeasurably and makes it faster and more powerful. Policy keeps an organization and all of its terminals and communication lines on track and moving towards its purpose. These elements lead to increased productivity and improved quality.

Process automation is a must for any company that wants to compete in this world. It is cheap compared to the alternative. And if you don’t embrace it fully, your competition will.

Brad Mathews Chief Technology Officer Cypress Technology Solutions, Inc. Brad@CypressSolutions.com

Requirements and Characteristics of Process Automation

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