Business Development

Using the ‘Three As’ strategy to run a more efficient business.

The three As—Atomize, Automate, and Augment—and how they improve business efficiency.

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There’s no smarter investment to make in today’s business environment than to automate manual, repetitive tasks. But automating those tasks is just the beginning. Once you’ve automated parts of your business, it’s critical to augment many tasks as well. Combining task automation with task augmentation is like giving your business a superpower, and it’s one of the best ways to work more efficiently and effectively.

In the book The Adaptation Advantage, Heather E. McGowan and Chris Shipley outline a methodology to help business leaders think through the process of improving their business processes. The method is known as the Three As:

  1. Atomize: Start by identifying the business process you would like to automate, and document that business process step by step. Breaking larger processes into smaller ones allows you to identify what can be automated.
  2. Automate: Once a process is atomized, identify the tasks that can be automated. This process is generally best done with a software provider who understands what can and can’t be automated, but generally any task that has a clear set of instructions and is very deterministic is a great candidate for automation.
  3. Augment: The remaining tasks that cannot be automated are then augmented. Augmenting a task can appear in many different formats, but in construction it may appear as benchmarking financial performance across client types and project teams. It may mean employing predictive analytics for proactive operational adjustments.

Identifying areas of your business to augment should be the primary goal for every leader in construction. This is where companies are able to take their strengths, and concentrate them into a true superpower. This shift is not just about improving efficiency—it's about fundamentally changing how tasks are allocated, allowing humans to engage more in creative and strategic activities rather than mundane, repetitive work.

One of the most significant benefits of the AI revolution is its ability to augment the skills that humans already possess, skills that often remain underutilized due to time spent on manual administrative tasks. Currently, professionals across various industries find themselves bogged down by repetitive work that stifles their potential. In construction, this is particularly evident where the manual processes not only consume time but also prevent workers from engaging in more meaningful, strategic activities that could drive innovation and efficiency.

Take these examples of how tasks and responsibilities may be enhanced by using this process.





Frequent meetings to review change orders, spend, and billings.

Utilizing real-time dashboards for health of the business updates.


Negotiating with customers after jobs are closed to be reimbursed for work.

Proactive relationship management with strategic selection of customers and jobs.


Daily cost meetings with monthly processing of credit card statements and invoices to arrive at an accurate view of total cost.

Automated spend management workflows with anomaly and exception reporting based on cost forecasts. One weekly check in on budget vs. actual forecasts.


Engaging in lengthy financial audit preparations.

Streamlining audit processes with automated data collection and analysis.


Manually processing and verifying invoices and payments.

Automating invoice processing and payments, negotiating with vendors for discounts based on faster payments.


Managing workforce allocation and scheduling manually.

Automating workforce management based on historical performance. Working with Business Development to identify new projects based on labor availability.


Frequent meetings on costs, change orders, and intense document creation to ensure costs are accounted for and billings are processed.

Focus on a list of “bottom five” jobs that show signals of financial or scheduling risk on a job.

Think of augmentation like a superpower– it’s the best strategy to reduce overhead in the business and set your people up for success. 

Learn how to augment your business with Briq.