Category Archives: Business Process Management

High Level Outcomes for a Digital Transformation


High Level Outcomes for a Digital Transformation

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

In my last post, I talked about the thought behind visioning for a business or digital transformation. Part of that process involves determining outcomes; those results that you are hoping for once you’ve done your transformation. In this post, we’ll take a look at some digital transformation outcomes that touch on internal processes, data, and customer satisfaction.

Increased Efficiencies by Decreasing Duplication and Increasing Automation

Every organization that undergoes digital transformation is looking to increase their internal efficiencies through decreased duplication and increased automation of their processes. When undergoing your digital transformation, some outcomes to look for are:

  • Decreasing administrative time using multiple systems, data input and entry;
  • Increasing the efficiency of your sites from an end to end customer experience;
  • Eliminating paper records;
  • Linking to other systems along the value chain;
  • Adapting quickly as customer/ministry/program requirements change;
  • Eliminating double work in office processes through an online scheduling system;
  • Implementing an efficient online booking system for customers and partners to use for appointments and cancellations

Increased Focus on Data Management and Reporting

Digital transformation brings with it data…lots of data. So much data, you’ll quickly realize that your organization is changing from one driven by paper and manual processes into one driven by data. To take advantage of this, here are some outcomes you should strive for:

  • To be able to run reports/obtain necessary data from one system to inform program decisions and customer services;
  • To gather correct and complete information for program planning, delivery, evaluation, budget, ministry reporting, etc.;
  • To increase access to customer data by staff regardless of location while being respectful of privacy and confidentiality;
  • To improve customer care and outcomes due to staff who have greater access to data and information

Increased Customer Satisfaction

Last, but not least, is increasing customer satisfaction. This should be the holy grail of your digital transformation. To sip from that grail, consider attaining the following outcomes:

  • Improving customer satisfaction through integrated services;
  • Using current technology at all sites to create a seamless customer experience;
  • Increasing customer and staff satisfaction in your organization’s services;
  • Enhancing the customer’s experience;
  • Enhancing your staff’s experience

Some Concluding Thoughts About High Level Outcomes for Digital Transformation

In summary, there are certain outcomes that you should consider when planning a business or digital transformation:

  • To improve the overall user experience;
  • To better inform decision making through electronic reporting;
  • To improve clinical efficiencies through the elimination of duplicate and manual processes, and;
  • To improve integration

By no means is this list comprehensive but it should give you a start in thinking about how to approach your digital transformation. If you have any questions about this, please email me at marc@rexteadconsultingcom or contact me at



By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Tired of dealing with content chaos? I write this post to share some exciting news about my company, Rextead Consulting, which I hope will be of interest to those who wish to move their organizations forward as they wrestle with their information and  file management processes.

As I alluded to in a previous post, digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of your business and it means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in your organization, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.

That’s a mouthful isn’t it?

In fact, I can imagine that digital transformation may seem a bit intimidating to some. Who has time to worry about that when you have clients to service, bills to pay, and staff to manage? Believe me, I understand.

It has become clear to me that something, perhaps a product or service, is required; a product that can quickly get to the heart of your business’ pain points and effectively resolve them so that you can move forward with growing your business.

I would like to introduce to you Rextead Consulting’s new product, the Digital Transformation Pathway:


The Digital Transformation Pathway advances the view that the future of your business cannot be assured solely on proceed with “business-as-usual” practices; rather, adapting your enterprise to the changing world around you must ideally become your organization’s default mode of operation. It includes:

  • Strategic Planning & Risk Management
  • Business Analysis
  • Business Process Mapping
  • Project Management
  • Information Management
  • Benefits Realization
  • Change Management

What could a solution using the Digital Transformation Pathway look like? It could be a reduction of all of the paper that you use. Imagine saying goodbye to those expensive cabinets in the hallway taking up valuable real estate. Or perhaps you want to beef up your privacy measures to make certain that breaches won’t happen in your business. Or maybe you simply can’t find your documents when you most need them and as a result, you have both you and your staff wasting time and money looking for business-critical information that should be at your fingertips.

That being said, typically, any organization that participates in digital transformation is more focused on increasing revenue than on cutting costs. That means they care more about growth than margin. Or they are more customer-focused and emphasize making every interaction with their customers as enjoyable, or as painless, as possible. Executives are looking to information professionals to deliver tangible value to their businesses through improved processes and enablement of information assets.

That may be you, but it might not be. The important thing is that your pain points are being addressed.

If you’re interested in having a discussion, please feel free to contact me at or at

Paper Sucks: Why Document Management is Vital for Digital Information


Paper Sucks: Why Document Management is Vital for Digital Information

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc., PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Sometimes, it feels like paper is the cockroach of business; it refuses to die.

Chances are you’re dealing with a lot of paper within your organization. Printing, scanning, archiving…all of this leads to the generation of paper, paper, and more paper.

Let me tell you about my experiences. I admittedly used to print out reams of paper to help me work. Any interesting articles I found that was relevant to my job would end up as piles of paper on my desk.

Any project management documents that I was working on? Same thing.

Have you ever tried to clear your desk? How do you feel? Clear-headed? Calmer? More focused? Your organization will be the same way once you do this on an enterprise-scale. Stop dealing with paper stacks and deal with transforming your business into the powerhouse it could be.

Some of the problems you face when trying to manage paper:

  • Cost per invoice is high
  • You may feel that you have too many staff or that you are not using staff efficiently
  • The time to correct an invoice error is long
  • Processes are complex and out-dated
  • Reporting on your information is painful and expensive as e-Discovery is a real problem for you

You can try to outsource much of this but the anchor of old manual process will still weigh you down.

We at Rextead Consulting feel that taking action on digital transformation initiatives and projects is important for you to really get a handle on these challenges. Here are some things you can do to better manage your documents:

  1. Capture your documents as close to the source as possible. This means try to catalogue and process them as soon as they enter your organization. This helps ensure high data quality throughout your business processes.
  2. Convert your current analog sources of documents to digital. Faxes, mail, etc. should all be received electronically. This doesn’t mean that you should go to your giant cabinets that are blocking the hallways and start scanning reams of documents. DON’T DO THIS! It’s a waste of time. Cut your losses and move forward. Instead, try to ensure that the paper documents that you do have are records that are of vital importance to the business and that all duplicates and the redundant, obsolete, and trivial stuff (ROT) is destroyed.
  3. The metadata and taxonomy structure for your digital documents is important so that you can find whatever you’re looking for. The amount of information we generate increases exponentially, so the ability to find your documents when you need them will provide dramatic savings in costs and time spent.
  4. Automate the document management processes as much as you can. Free up your intelligent and capable staff from doing monotonous work and get them working on things that will help your business meet its goals.

How are you dealing with your paper issues? Have you made any progress that you would like to share? Let me know!

Getting Closer to an Uber-ized Healthcare?

Getting Closer to an Uber-ized Healthcare?

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

You may recall that a while ago, I talked about Uber and how its business model could someday impact healthcare (here, here, and here). While it was fairly clear that something along this path would eventually occur, it was hard to determine exactly when (if it hadn’t happened already) and what exactly this new business model would look like. While we might not be there yet, I believe we are now much closer.

A colleague of mine, Jennifer LeDrew, introduced a new website to me called Maple that now allows anyone within the province of Ontario, Canada, to receive full, 24-hour, 7 days a week, medical consultation within the comfortable confines of their own home, or anywhere else for that matter. Here’s a brief overview of how it works:

  1. Once you have registered with the site and selected a pricing structure, you can go and request a consultation.
  2. You will then be quickly assigned to a doctor.
  3. Depending upon your ailment, you’ll get an assessment, diagnosis, sick note, and/or prescription within minutes.

Think of the potential benefits; no more hours spent in the emergency ward waiting to see a doctor, no more wrangling of sick children for a late-night visit to the hospital – all you have to do is connect to Maple and speak to a doctor even if your child is still in bed! An added bonus is that everyone you’ll consult with is a trained medical doctor. I think the appeal of this service is pretty obvious and I would be surprised if this is already happening elsewhere in the world. Anyone know of any examples?

Now, you may be from another industry, like government or manufacturing, or you might be from a different part of healthcare, like home care, and you’re wondering, “This is all very nice, but what does this have to do with me and the industry that I’m in?” Well, think of this; in the future, as your clients’ use of technology becomes more sophisticated, will they expect your organization and the services you provide to be available anywhere and anytime? Think about it, if they can already order products, food, travel, lodging, and entertainment online in real time, why can’t they do the same for medical consultation as well? Besides, what if you decide to not pursue this digital transformation but your competitor does? Do you want to be left behind?

That being said, I can still picture some of you shaking your heads while reading this and saying, “But there is a physical aspect to the services I provide to my client that can’t be done through a computer screen!” Most definitely, I agree! But couldn’t portions of your services, especially the more routine ones, be placed within this new business model and then tailored to the individual client? It is also possible to use this enhanced service as a revenue generator by establishing a subscription model similar to the one used by Maple.

This wasn’t what I was initially thinking of when I was referring to an “Uber-ized healthcare”, but it could have just as much impact as an Uber-ized healthcare all the same. Also, it would be interesting to see how artificial intelligence will affect this model; so instead of speaking with real people, users would interact with a “medically trained and knowledgeable” algorithm. Who knows?

In conclusion, I think that this is another clear example of how digital transformation is driving industries into areas that they weren’t seriously considering before. For me, what is also striking is how quickly things are changing and how important it is to be able to adapt to this change. That’s why I’m so excited we at Rextead Consulting are deep into digital transformation and continue to look forward to help organizations take advantage of technologies to deliver true innovation, something that the people behind Maple have already started to do.

What do you think of Maple and their attempt to tear down the barriers between the health provider and patient? Would you use something like this for yourself or your family?

What is Digital Transformation and what does it mean for you?


What is Digital Transformation and What does it mean for you?

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

When I first started Rextead Consulting, a friend of mine asked me what it was that this new company will do. I instinctively said something like, “Well, I specialize in information management and project management to help businesses, especially those focused on health care.” “Cool” my friend said and that was basically the end of the conversation. Or was it? Deep down, I felt that my explanation wasn’t as thorough as it could be. Yes, I do specialize in information management and I am a certified project management professional, but those things are merely a means to an end. What was the end game? What is the goal that I am trying to achieve for my clients? I knew that I wanted to resolve my clients’ pain points but I struggled to encapsulate that into as few words as possible. One day, it came to me out of the blue and I immediately began kicking myself for not realizing it earlier during my conversation with my friend. Looking at all of the skills and tools at my disposal and the outcomes that I desired for my clients, it was clear that this was the term that I was looking for:

Digital Transformation

According to Wikipedia, digital transformation, or digital business transformation, is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society and it means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods. For some, it may mean going paperless, but in my opinion, this is only part of it. There is also the matter of increasing collaboration within an organization, improving processes, raising the level of innovation within your company, and ensuring that all projects and initiatives are in sync with the overall strategic plan.

So what does digital transformation consist of for us at Rextead Consulting? I think there are pillars that are essential to digital transformation, regardless of the size of the organization and they are:

  • Strategic planning – You can’t reach your destination if you have no direction. All projects and initiatives must be aligned with the overall strategy to achieve the goals of the digital transformation
  • Project management – from your planning process will result in projects and the level of project management expertise used will determine the end results of the digital transformation
  • Business analysis – determining the requirements of both the company and its customers, as well as getting an understanding of the various environments surrounding the company will help ensure that all relevant pain points are addressed
  • Business process management – adding new technology to garbage processes leaves you with garbage results. Processes have to be changed to effective use new technology, even if these process span the entire organization
  • Benefits realization – this will close the gap between strategic planning and execution by ensuring the implementation of the most valuable initiatives
  • Information management – in my experience, almost of the pain points that keep executives up at night are related to information and how it’s managed
  • And last, but not least, Change management – the biggest barrier to implementing digital transformation is a company culture and the best way to break through that barrier is with change management

Notice that I did not include IT in this list. Technology is another one of those things that are a means to an end and should not be the focal point. That being said, IT will still play a major role in any digital transformation initiative and can be accounted for through your business analysis work.

I will speak to each point in the above list in greater detail in future posts but in the meantime, let me know what you think.

Afraid of Floating on Cloud 9? Some Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing



Afraid of Floating on Cloud 9? Some Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

By Marc Edwards, B.Sc. , PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

Are you at the stage within your organization where cloud computing and storage is now a valid tactic to consider to maintain or increase your organization’s competitive advantage? This is obviously a complicated decision since having your data in-house on your own servers gives a sense of security that only proximity can bring.

I came across an article by Carlos Mendible that speak of some of the pros and cons for an organization going to the cloud. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Reduced IT costs: Fewer servers and the staff managing them are needed.
  2. Scalability: In this fast changing world it is important to be able to scale up or down your solutions depending on the situation and your needs without having to purchase or install hardware or upgrades all by yourself.
  3. Business continuity: when you store data in the cloud, you ensure it is backed-up and protected which in turn helps with your continuity plan cause in the event of a crisis you’ll be able to minimize any downtime and loss of productivity.
  4. Collaboration: Cloud services allow you share files and communicate with employees and third-parties in this highly globalized world and in a timely manner.
  5. Flexibility: Cloud computing allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices cause it’s simpler to access data from home or virtually any place with an internet connection.
  6. Automatic updates: When consuming the cloud services, you’ll be using the latest version of the product avoiding the pain and expensive costs associated with software or hardware upgrades.

That being said, some of the perceived cons to moving to the cloud are:

  1. Privacy agreement and service level agreement: You must understand the responsibilities of your cloud provider, as well as your own obligations. In some situations, is your obligation to do configure correctly the service in order to enable the best SLA possible.
  2. Regulatory compliance: Remember that although your data is residing on a provider’s cloud, you are still accountable to your customers for any security and integrity issues that may affect your data and therefore you must know the standards and procedures your provider has in place to help you mitigate your risk.
  3. Location of data: Know the location of your data and which privacy and security laws will apply to it cause it’s possible that your organization’s rights may get marginalized.
  4. Data privacy and security: Once you host confidential data in the cloud you are transferring a considerable amount of your control over data security to the provider. Ask who has access to your sensitive data and what physical and logical controls does the provider use to protect your information.
  5. Data availability and business continuity: How is your organization and the provider prepared to deal with a possible loss of internet connectivity? Weigh your tolerance level for unavailability of your data and services against the uptime SLA.
  6. Data loss and recovery: In a disaster scenario, how is your provider going to recover your data and how long will it take? Be sure to know your cloud provider’s disaster recovery capabilities and if and how they have been tested.
  7. Record retention requirements: If your business is subject to record retention requirements, how well is the cloud provider prepared to suite your needs?
  8. Environmental security: Cloud computing data centers are environments with a huge concentration of computing power, data, and users, which in turn creates a greater attack surface for bots, malware, brute force attacks, etc. Ask: how well prepared is the provider to protect your assets through access controls, vulnerability assessment, and patch and configuration management controls?
  9. Provider lockdown: What is your exit strategy in case your provider can no longer meet your requirements? Can you move your data and operations to another provider’s cloud? Are there technical issues associated with such a change?

I’ve learned that one of the best ways to alleviate fear is to conduct research. So if you are in the position where you need to make a decision about cloud computing, take the time to fully understand the implications. You’ll find that it will be quite worth it.

What the heck is health content analytics?


What the heck is health content analytics?

By Marc Edwards B.Sc., PMP, Content Analyticss, bpms, MBA

If you are in the healthcare industry, then you have most likely dealt with data that can be found in the comment boxes of medical reports, surveys, and health provider side-notes. That’s not including the public health information that governments may provide via social media and various research reports. But have you ever wondered if this text could be pulled and used to bring valuable results

There is a way.

As more of our health information is captured electronically, new fields of study have arisen to deal with the eventual analysis of this information. This field of study are called content analytics. This is probably as good a time as any to define content analytics for you but first, it is important to define what text analytics is.

According to AIIM, text analytics is a set of linguistic, statistical, and machine learning techniques that allow text to be analyzed, relevant information extracted and transformed into structured information that can then be leveraged in different ways.

That being said, content analytics is a set of text analytics processes plus the ability to visually identify and explore trends, patterns, and statistically relevant facts found in various types of content spread across internal and extra no content sources from content management systems to the Internet.

Why is all of this important? Because, the endless amount of health text that we generate contains knowledge and health information, information that while fairly inaccessible, can potentially provide significant amounts of value if mined. Also, while data can be read by a machine, text requires interpretation and contextualization and cannot be treated the same way as data is treated. This reality demands that we use different tactics and approaches when dealing with text. Text analytics supports prediction, classification, and discovery.

One thing that is important to point out is that we must clean up text before analysis, just like it is required for data.

All of this analysis and structuring of free form text allows computers to use human knowledge to add structure and organization to the text data to allow us to extract key concepts and ideas from the text. Having said that, it’s important that you know what you are looking for before you start looking. Also, make sure that you can validate or interpret any results that you achieve and that the results are sustainable and replicable from one day to the next.

So how does that sound to you? Are you ready to dive into the world of health content analytics?

How to Manage Orphaned Health Data


How to Manage Orphaned Health Data

by Marc Edwards B.Sc., PMP, Content Analytics, MBA

Joe Shepley from Doculabs has written an article ( highlighting the risks of orphaned data to an organization. He defines orphaned data as data that has no owner and suggests that it is the over-retention of this data that incurs high levels of risks and costs.

Mr. Shepley rightly identifies three steps an organization must take to manage orphaned data:

  1. Create a policy

I have spoken to the need of having health data governance within healthcare organizations in many prior posts and I am heartened to find it referenced yet again in Joe Shepley’s article. Here, he argues that a policy should be created stating that the information management team should take ownership and management of all orphaned data and they are the ones to determine if said data is on legal hold, is a corporate policy, or should be disposed of.

  1. Choose your technology

Simply put, decide on the technology that you will need to support your efforts and deploy that technology so that it allows you to enforce your policy.

  1. Manage organizational change

Ensure that you use effective change management methodologies to implement the new policy and technology.

What about you? How are you managing your orphaned health data?

3 steps to ensure well-defined healthcare processes

Just been assigned to an EHR implementation? When implementing any sort of new technology or process within a healthcare facility, you must ensure operational readiness, regardless of the situation. To do this, you’re going to have to make sure your hospital, clinic, or long term care home has well-defined operational processes.

There are five things you can do right now to ensure you have these well-defined operational processes:

  1. Pain point identification

The first thing to do is to consult with executive sponsor(s) (usually in the c-suite) to determine what their main problems or pain points are. The pain points are usually the biggest problems in the most important part of the organization. In my experience, most of the pain points identified are information-based in nature, but try to keep an open mind. Also try to keep things relatively high-level as someone in the c-suite may not know all of the intricate details of the problem. Instead, save the more detailed questions for staff further down the food chain.

2.   Business process mapping

The second thing to do is to conduct business process mapping. To do this, you are going to have to get a handle on all of the documentation surrounding the pain points. This can include:

  • SOPs
  • Working instructions
  • Policies
  • Business plans
  • Strategic plans
  • Job descriptions
  • Legislation

All of the above can help provide context and should help understand the “why”.

If any of the above documentation is missing from the organization you are working for/with, note it down and ensure hat the resultant recommendations reflect this gap or if you are delivering the project, make sure the development of these missing documents become project deliverables.

Use the business and strategic plans to identify gaps in the current processes and clearly state the tasks required to fill these gaps.

3.   Develop the report

Develop the report along with the business process maps to identify the current state and provide recommendations for the future state, one where the pain points are resolved.