The ROI of Human Process Management

I was reading a whitepaper by Laserfiche on Disciplined Autonomy which they wrote in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit (you can find a copy on, though you need to register).

The paper is interesting, discussing the tension between autonomy and control in processes done by knowledge workers. What was most interesting to me was some of the raw results of their survey:

Time spent in followup

Back and Forth

The data shows that 45% of the responding knowledge workers (they surveyed 227 executives) spend over 4 hours a week on email follow-up! and 41% spend more than 4 hours each week on passing documents between decision makers to get approvals.

Even if you take the low end of the spectrum – 8 hours a week at $30 per hour – about 40% of  knowledge workers are costing $240 a week for tasks a Human Process Management System like ActionBase would cut  by about 80%.

Using a HPMS would bring savings of around $9000 per year per knowledge worker. Multiply that by the 40% of your knowledge work employees and managers (as in the whitepaper) – and that is a huge direct expense you could avoid.


2 Responses to “The ROI of Human Process Management”

  1. Nathan Zeldes Says:

    No doubt a HPMS would bring significant savings to these people; I shudder to think how the ones at the high end work: spending over 16 hours a week following up?!

    BTW, I didn;t see anything to indicate that this followup is by email; using other means would be more reliable and may well explain the magnitude of the time invested?

    • Jacob Ukelson Says:

      Hi. Good to hear from you. You are right, the report doesn’t explicitly say the followup is done in email, I just assumed that is the most pervasive way of doing follow-up in most places. I guess they could be physically going to do the follow-up personally (probably not very likely) or over the phone – but in any case an HPMS would make things a lot easier and more efficient.

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