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  • Duncan Ashenhurst

Making your work flow: which business process(es) should we streamline first?

So you’ve decided that a Business Process Automation solution is going to improve things for your organisation, and you’re ready to get started. But you’re just not sure how to get started? Would a ‘big bang’ approach be the right way for you; attempting to get everything done all at once for an organisation-wide roll-out? Or is a ‘softly, softly’ methodology going to be best; making sure the system is installed and initially used only in a very limited capacity by a small pioneering team?


While every implementation will be different, and in some cases both these two extremes have their place; our recommendation is that you go somewhere in the middle. You want to look at processes that are going to get high buy-in, across a wider internal audience; but they should also be low-risk, and easier to design and deploy.


Target ‘High Impact : Low Complexity’ processes.


Assess your candidate processes.


Sometimes the process or processes are blindingly obvious – and often these may be specific one(s) for which you’ve gone to market for a solution. However, because of that, they will probably be mission-critical, highly manual, involve disconnected systems, and be data-centric. Examples would be a lengthy client-onboarding process including AML/KYC and frequent client back-and-forth communication, or detailed contracts management requirements with important records retention policies and data privacy issues.


These kinds of processes require significant upfront analysis, detailed documentation, robust testing and are high-risk. Failure to deliver these well will potentially derail the project and stop everything in its tracks. Unless you must immediately go with these processes, then consider the following steps before you begin:


Step 1: Make a list of processes that could be deployed using your solution. A good Content Services Platform (CSP) such as Laserfiche will be able to deliver many processes across the organisation, and even if your key driver was something else, you may find that a different process is best to go with first.


Step 2: Once you have your list of possible processes, arrange them in a table with similar columns to the below. Organise a session or two with your departmental Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and determine the values that should go into the table. Your list may end up looking something like this:

Process

Scope

For example - even if HR Onboarding and Contracts Management processes were your initial driver for procuring the workflow solution, this team discussion may just reveal that Health & Safety Incident Reporting might be a real pain for you, and yet your process for this could actually be very simple to deploy in a CSP such as Laserfiche. You will likely find several processes present themselves that you previously hadn't even considered!


If it’s possible to do so, getting started with these processes will achieve several things:

  1. Allows you to get the system ‘bedded-in’, usually across the organisation rather than a smaller sub-set.

  2. Gets your people familiar with its use, particularly your ‘super-users’, who may go on to be Forms and Process Designers / Owners.

  3. Reduces up-front risk.

  4. Builds trust in the system and buy-in from users.

First things first though: to help you get the most out of any workflow project, find a good Solution Provider as much as the good solution! if you’d like to discuss how we can help you get started on your digital transformation journey, THEN please get in touch using details at our contact form.

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