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Process Makes Perfect

Tom Allanson

Green Process Management

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Happy Earth Day, everyone. There's no doubt that today will be dominated by discussions of what we can do to make our lifestyles a little greener.

I do believe that global businesses have made constituted efforts to be more resource-aware in the past few years, with recycling becoming a norm rather than a fringe movement, and companies embracing virtual conferencing and online collaboration over physical commuting. It's naïve to attribute this progress to the business world's collective interest in saving the planet; it just so happens that advances in technology have allowed us to operate more efficiently while having the added benefit of consuming fewer resources. This isn't a bad thing, however.

Throughout history, many enlightened populist decisions have been the result of compromise over the most efficient means of achieving a desired result. Majority rule? Sure, otherwise nothing would ever get done. Law enforcement? Sure, otherwise nothing would ever get done. Allowing competition between service providers? Sure, otherwise...you get where I'm going with this.

If the greening of our global society is a result of the cost savings and productivity gains that companies realize when adopting more environmentally-friendly practices, I'm all for it. In this sense deontology rules.

In predicting the next major corporate movement towards speeding up processes and encouraging savings, I can't help but think that BPM is going to take center stage. Workflow automation not only streamlines day-to-day business tasks, but also eliminates the need for paper forms and surveys by moving process management completely online (or in the cloud). One of our education customers saves $10,000 annually after automating a simple print request process alone. That's one less tree cut down. Now multiply that by hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world and we could save an entire rainforest.

I'm not trying to be hokey in my "save the trees" speech, but environmental conservation matters. The message I'd like you to take from this post is that little changes can make a huge difference in how we conduct business, and investing in solutions of any kind that can improve operations and conserve physical and personnel resources benefits way more than a single company.

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You may be interested in an interview I took from the founder of the Green Process Management Institute in January this year :)


Tom Allanson of PerfectForms shares his ideas on managing business processes, automating workflows and designing for business users - both in the cloud and on the ground.

Tom Allanson

Tom Allanson, CEO of Perfect Forms, Inc., has over 19 years of experience leading teams and growing businesses and has held key executive roles at Intuit, General Electric, and H&R Block. Most recently the President of H&R Block Digital Tax Division, he had previously been Senior Vice President at Intuit in charge of the Tax Division, including TurboTax. He started his career as a design engineer.


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