Operational efficiency and resource productivity are the two concrete pillars of any digital transformation initiative in shared services and business process outsourcing centers ecosystem. On one hand, efficiency is linked to the overall process, productivity is directly correlated with individual skills. However, what business leaders often tend to overlook is the optimization part.

Does optimization include efficiency and productivity? Surely it does.

Let’s Dig Deeper into Optimization

What is optimization? Is it about challenging resources to do more work? Or, giving resources less time for completing an activity than the anticipated turnaround time? The answer is ‘No’.

The answer lies within and is derived from the way we conduct our business activities; the time we estimate to complete activities; the time we actually take to complete activities – wait! completion time or processing time? Yes. There’s a huge unnoticed and hidden element here. The actual time taken to process an activity vs the actual duration the activity has waited for the resource to execute. This thin but valuable indicator always gives the required flexibility for optimization.

Duration vs Process Time

So, what is the major difference between duration vs process time?

  • Duration time: It is the actual time consumed by work item/transaction in a particular activity/workstep. The difference between the entry and exit time for an activity is the duration of the transaction/work item to be completed. The activity/workstep may be user-driven, automated, utility-driven, or an integrational workstep
  • Process time: It is the expected turn-around-time for the end-to-end process to get over

Broad Considerations While Optimizing Processes

You must look out for three broad parameters while optimizing processes:

  1. Set turn-around-time for an activity in a business process
  2. Actual duration time taken for completing a task/activity
  3. Actual time taken to complete a process

Understanding the Turn Around Time (TAT) Game Better – Use Case!    

Given below is a representative dashboard report of invoice processing.


The difference between ‘A’ and ‘B’ gives a crystal-clear representation of how tasks are performed versus the expectations.

The difference between ‘B’ and ‘C’ states how much of TAT reduction or optimization we can do in the process. The reduction may be achieved by adding more resources or by sending a notification to the user for immediate execution or as demanded by the work management rules.

Take Away!

Do remember to automate end-to-end business processes. Only seamlessly integrated and modular platforms or products can help visualize the above in detail across the process activities with ease. A semi-stitched or loosely integrated applications may have a lot of challenges in the actual presentation of activities, thereby leading to a lack of process visibility.


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