Organizations, irrespective of their line of business or size of operations, always make valiant efforts to optimize every single organizational process, and rightly so. And automation plays a massive role in this. This is one of the biggest reasons why process automation represents a critical tool today as far as digital transformation is concerned. However, it’s important for department heads and business analysts not to fall for cheap marketing taglines.
In this blog, we will be reading about process automation and access tips on how to make your process automation goals a reality.
For quite some time now, the concept of Process Automation has been riding the trend wave across the world. However, despite the great benefits it can provide, process automation systems have not stayed away from criticism in the past. A steep learning curve for users, high procurement and implementation costs, and substantial additional costs for ongoing adjustments used to take some of the shine off Process Automation Systems in the last few years.
Thankfully, numerous manufacturers have brought state-of-the-art systems and solutions to the market to automate without much involvement of IT teams. Let us take the example of support processes that were previously all about checklists, spreadsheets, and countless emails. Long waiting times and process loops were commonly noticed in the past. The existence of error-prone, non-transparent, and poorly documented support processes further added to the pressure, resulting in endless frustration and cycle times for everyone involved. Not anymore!
Seven Steps For Process Automation
- The first step is all about evaluating your process portfolio to identify the potential for automation. For instance, based on the defined process types and characteristics like degree of standardization, frequency of execution, complexity, etc. It is highly recommended that the documentation should be detailed, clear, unambiguous, and easy to interpret. This will help in creating better parameters to be considered during the selection process, such as the systems involved, impacts or dependencies on downstream and upstream processes, risks, etc.
- Before your organization starts with automation, it should take enough time to comprehensively analyze the selected processes. Thereafter, all major weaknesses and obstacles should be eliminated straight away. This is simply because your processes will stay inefficient or faulty even after automation if they were not corrected beforehand.
- The third step is about converting your organization’s optimized processes into a streamlined workflow graph to depict the execution logic. The graph will be devoid of purely manual activities or decisions. Once this has been done, you’ll need to add the technical information about the execution of the individual steps to generate the final execution graph.
- During the fourth step, you’ll be required to get started with form design parallel to the creation of the executable process. This will help you make proactive improvements to both the forms and the workflow graph. Moreover, it will also enhance the process quality and acceptance.
- During the rollout phase or ahead of it, you should seek technical approvals for the refined processes while educating your team members on it. Also, you should ensure all technical tasks for change management and go-live have been successfully implemented.
- The new processes are all set to be made available to the employees. Now, you’ll have to decide whether you still want to have your automated processes productively “tested” on a smaller scale in the initial stages or make it available to all those impacted right away.
- The last step is all about monitoring the relevant KPIs to the cost-benefit considerations and project goals. All monitoring findings can be used by your organization as an initial point for future process enhancements.