There’s probably no better example of how operational agility is vital to business continuity than what we’re seeing right now, with the cascading impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on companies and markets worldwide.
Agility allows an enterprise to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and mitigate unexpected risk. If your enterprise is truly “agile,” it’s able to maximize business value even when there’s a lot of uncertainly at work in the world. Like the kind brought on by a global pandemic.
One of the cornerstone selling points of workflow automation is how it can provide agility, responsiveness, and value to an organization. How can it do that in a situation like this? By empowering users quickly adapt their operations even when something as disruptive as the coronavirus arises.
These three free workflows were specifically designed and made available in reponse to the outbreak, and to immediate operational challenges confronting organizations everywhere:
Self-Reporting Risk Assessment
An automated workflow, including specification of stakeholders and notifications, that’s offered as a pre-built template that’s ready to use right out of the box, but is completely customizable by the user.
It allows a company to quickly publish a workflow allowing an employee to report to Human Resources if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, been in contact with persons who have tested positive, or report other risk factors or impacts such as recent travel to a high-risk location, a shutdown of their children’s school, or other items.
The workflow can provide a secure, confidential transaction between HR and the employee; managers or stakeholders can be added at HR’s discretion. It also allows all parties to consult a real-time view of what countries are still affected by the outbreak.
A form with embedded business logic asks the employee questions like…
- What would you like to report?
- I interacted with someone who had the virus and I will be in self-quarantine for 14 days.
- I have a family member who is a high risk.
- I recently traveled to a high-risk country or location.
- My child’s school has been shut down.
All questions have options to add comments. Customization allows HR to add to add other questions as they see fit. Once a form is completed, it can be automatically routed to the proper stakeholders/managers for review.
Request for Business-Critical Travel
This another workflow that’s available as a pre-built template but can be customized by our clients.
Its TAP-based request form utilizes embedded business logic, dropdown fields and other features to capture the following information:
- The primary purpose of the meeting (including client name)
- The date most recently confirmed by the client, office, or business leader as to when you’re needed onsite
- Location for departure location, destination(s), travel route, and method. Example: Departing by train from London’s St. Pancras station to Paris’s Gare du Nord station.
- Travel dates
- Risk/impacts of not traveling such as effects on a deal, negative impact on client/industry relationships, and so on.
- Alternative options such as teleconferencing, local or partner representation.
Requests are automatically routed to the right stakeholders/managers for their review; approval or denial notifications can be automatically generated and sent to requesters and managers.
Remote Work Tracker
This workflow helps HR managers track the status of employees who are working remotely, and the health/travel status of them and their close contacts during a public health or safety crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak.
In its first stage, the workflow allows the employee to request to work remotely by asking for the requested start and end dates, the reason for the request, and other key information.
In its second stage, after the initial approved time period for working remotely has passed, the workflow automatically emails once-a-week messages to employees that capture the following information:
- Do they need to extend working remotely for another week?
- Was the employee able to work remotely successfully last week?
- If not, why? (A conditional pull-down with answers such as: WiFi issues, phone service issues, physical location, fill-in box for “other”)
- Have you or anyone close to you traveled to any locations with elevated coronavirus warning levels? (Can link to a CDC monitoring page)
- Have you or anyone close to you had contact with anyone that has tested positive for the coronavirus?
- Will you be able to successfully work remotely in the upcoming week?
When flexibility and resilience matter most
We realize there will be other challenges for companies as the COVID-19 crisis moves forward. That’s why we’ll be providing additional future workflows to help them tackle its effects, all of them available to members of the TAP Co-Innovation Community and to non-client companies who can make good use of TAP during this time.
Where will the coronavirus pandemic go from here? That’s the unsettling, uncertain thing about it: Nobody knows. That’s why the weeks and months ahead are going to be a real stress test of the flexibility and resilience of many companies. And it’s where workflow automation technology and outstanding client support will prove their worth – yet again.