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Workflow Analysis and Process Improvement

Case Study: Hillsborough County Administrative Services

 

The Administrative Services Department (ASD) of Hillsborough County, Florida provides coordination of all Board of County Commissioners meetings, professional clerical services, acts as a liaison for the County's travel program and budget oversight, and provides services for special projects as required.

Problem

Their manual workflow process took 5 to 7 days to create agendas, and staff members were not certain where agenda items were in the approval process.

Document Management Solution

DocuVantage® implemented a workflow analysis and document management solution that allows for queries as to the location and status of agenda items, e-mail notifications of disapproval, and automatic creation of supporting documents for approved items.

Old Process

After a thorough workflow analysis, DocuVantage noticed that agenda items were being created in Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. and a log was used to inventory items and keep track of them manually. Documents were sent via GroupWise email and the log manually updated with send date, recipient, status, and to whom the record should be returned. Users often inquired as to the status of a given agenda item; however, no one really ever knew the status or even the location of an item, or even if the item had been approved. 

Phone calls and emails had to be made and when an answer was finally received, the status had to be reported back via email or phone again to the querying party. Finally, ASD had to contact each department when an agenda was completed and arrange for pick-up or courier. All workflow processes were done manually, taking up to 7 days to put together an agenda, with no audit trail for an item in the approval process.

New Process

The solution's customized workflow screens now allow users to track the audit trail and upload electronic agenda items which travel along with the workflow to the pertinent people in the approval process. New recipients or changes in personnel are managed centrally from the workflow screens and routing is instantaneous. Workflow screens are modified in and presented with an easy graphical user interface that also documents audit trails for management.

Only those approved to modify items can; others can only view the documents as defined in the workflow. Notes, along with status as to approved or not approved are shown, allowing department representatives to query and immediately access status. On disapproval of an item, the originator is notified via email with a link to the electronic item and notes as to why the item was disapproved. If an item is approved, the item is moved to the Agenda automatically and an Agenda Cover Sheet is created for the backup documents.

Performing a workflow analysis on Hillsborough County allowed us to gauge their strengths and weaknesses, what they needed and what they lacked. Now, full search capabilities allow all departments to perform queries at any time on all items, backup materials, and routing location. Only the latest revisions of any item are available for global access.

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