Around the Web: What’s New In Workflow and Project Management Solutions

 

CPA: Practice Advisor: “Four tips to improve workflow processes” (October 7, 2013)

In this article in CPA: Practice Advisor, the author offers four ideas for improving workflow. He cautions that often managers seek short-term results and avoid the deep thinking and conceptualizing that will ultimately result in the best solutions.

Among his suggestions for improving workflow are not to try to separate clients and processes. Although clients may not directly care about how a firm manages its processes, clients DO care about efficient results, and a good workflow process leads to efficiency. The author also cautions against tunnel vision, where the workers in one department are so focused on their own work that they lose sight of the firm’s total vision and goals.

 

Accounting Today: “Five firms share their experiences with workflow solutions” (October 4, 2013)

This article in Accounting Today looks at five accounting firms in varying sizes and examines how they solved workflow problems with 21st century solutions. Among them is a seven-person Arlington, VA firm that wanted to get away from traditional spreadsheets and the inherent potential for human error associated with them.  The firm switched to a cloud-based system for the 2013 tax season and was able to offer more one-on-one time with their clients while reducing the hours that the staff had to work.

The article also talks about a five-person, New Jersey-based CPA firm that was looking for a way to track work projects and to free up time so the partners and staff could spend more time with clients. This firm found the solution in a digital workflow tracking system. The result was more hands-on time with clients and a way to quantify workload efficiency.

 

 CIO Magazine:  “What to do when your CRM fails?” (October 8, 2013)

CIO Magazine estimates that at least one-third of all customer relationship management projects fail and that the number could actually be as high as two-thirds. That’s a terrible statistic and one that doesn’t bode well for companies trying to interact with their customers, either in person, via traditional media, or via social media.

The article identifies eight reasons CRM projects might fail, including poor data quality, putting expectations ahead of the data, and internal politics that got in the way of the project. The article continues to offer 18 tough questions managers should ask themselves in evaluating a failed project, questions like “was the concept viable in the first place?” and “did internal forces try to block the project?”

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