Oracle Recommends the KonMari Approach for Business Process Automation

Date : 20-Mar-2019
Location: Malaysia

Key Take-Aways:
  • When Marie Kondo released “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” in 2011, it became a sell-out hit. Clearly, the KonMari approach – the notion of removing anything from our homes that doesn’t bring us joy – resonates. Kondo is now taking Netflix by storm with her TV show, encouraging more people to get purging. Whether you’ve been swept away by Kondo or not, it’s hard to downplay the strength of a motto: get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
  • So what can businesses learn from the KonMari tidying principles? Thanks to automation, companies are now in a position where they can ‘remove’ processes that don’t bring staff joy.
  • KonMari- 4 steps approach:
    1. Commit to the approach

      Complete dedication is needed til the end.

      For businesses, that means commitment from everyone. Driven by the leadership team, cultures will need to change to ensure minimal barriers to the approach. Kondo says imagining your ideal lifestyle can drive this motivation, which is helpful for businesses. If staff understand ideal outcomes from automation and what’s expected of them, that’ll support the cultural shift towards a “more joyful” business.

    2. Follow the plan

      The KonMari method relies on tidying by category, not location. For businesses, this means working out what to implement, not where. All areas of the organisation should get the same level of the ‘tidying’ approach at the same time, with the same tasks automated. Once this is decided, a clear plan needs to be determined, demonstrating how it’ll be rolled out step-by-step across the whole organisation.

    3. Tidying

      How to decide which tasks to automate? Kondo says we must look at each item and decide whether it brings us joy. If it doesn’t, we discard it.

      In a single organisation, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of business operations that aren’t bringing staff joy. However, just because a process doesn’t bring an employee joy, doesn’t mean it’s not imperative. For example, while security updates and patches might be time-consuming and boring for staff, they are integral to businesses who must keep data secure. And while payroll might seem mundane to the finance team, it needs to happen!

      The easiest way to free staff from having to do these business-critical processes while still ensuring they happen is to automate the processes. Following the example above, implementing a self-patching and self-updating system could be a way of bringing joy to staff by reducing mundane processes, but still aligning with business objectives.

      Through automation, staff are free to pursue activities that bring them joy and allow innovation. That might be developing original ideas, better engaging teams, or winning new business.

    4. Folding and Storing

      Kondo argues you should fold and store the items you’re keeping in a way so that you can see them at the same time. Businesses should think of the cloud as their easily visible drawer – you have easy and real-time access to data across the business.

      The KonMari method dictates a streamlined approach for a happy home environment, but it’s something businesses should achieve as well. Now’s the time for businesses to think how they can automate the processes that don’t need staff attention to reap the benefits of a more joyful and engaged workforce.

  • John Abel, Head of Innovation and Cloud at Oracle.
  • The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, plus Highly-Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database.
Editor's comments:
  • Businesses, typically the private enterprises in Malaysia are extremely conscious about the need to keep the organization lean and effective - by keeping a relatively small workforce in other to service a large customer base - this is the blueprint of continuous prosperity.
  • They know how to achieve the goal as well, that is business process automation and it is part of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, which was lauded by the government of Malaysia.
  • The biggest obstacles in implementing automation are the budget and the commitment from everybody - resistance may arise from employees reluctant to lose job job functions etc.
  • Besides leveraging on the KonMari approach and offerings from the likes of Oracle, companies must get the HR policy sorted out as the bottom line. For example, employees must be protected from the risks of losing their jobs within the immediate future - a strong HR culture and policy is mandatory to ensure commitments from top-down and bottom-up.
  • Personally, I would be thrilled to have my job automated whilst nothing else changes.