80/20 Process - The Cultural Aspect
<<Here's the thing: Tools can help, but all real transformation is cultural. It takes a commitment to remove people from the picture and automate complex processes. No one likes to believe that his special IT sauce isn't all that unique. Break through that barrier and the payoff is fewer manual errors, improved compliance, and the ability to track discrete costs.>>
From a Knowledge Management perspective, this quote above is also 'on point'. Understanding the company/corporate/industry culture is vital to finding out where real efficiency may be achieved. My work with military staffs in this area informs my view.
Automating a legacy process is a very tempting method to give the appearance of improvement or efficiency. But often, when this occurs, the rationale for one or more of the processes becomes murky. The usual refrain is that it is required because "we've always done this". But when you peel the onion to determine why such a process actually is necessary, cultural comfort overrides utility. The result is an automated version of a legacy process rather than an efficient way to gain staff concurrence leading to approval.