We encounter obstacles each day, whether it’s the slow car driving in the fast lane or the person in front of you at the grocery checkout with 30 items in the express lane—obstacles are everywhere. How to implement automated workflow within your organization shouldn’t be one of them.
The message we are hearing is that organizations are faced with multiple obstacles when it comes to implementing automated workflow. Analysis paralysis sets in when faced with the daunting task of automating everything at once. Here are a few tips to help remove the obstacles and jumpstart your implementation.
Implementing a new technology encourages organizations to go through a self-evaluation. The buying process stimulates new ideas and enthusiasm is generated with all the wonderful things you can do with this new product. Then the reality of implementation sets in. You have all of those great ideas and it’s overwhelming.
Where do you start? Implementing workflow doesn’t have to be the next version of the big bang theory. Start small. You don’t have to implement end to end right out of the box. Find your biggest pain points and workarounds done on spreadsheets. Plug in processes to solve those problems while working on the vision to streamline end to end.
Identify Manual Processes
Manual processes and gaps in point solutions that you already have are the low hanging fruit that is begging to be plucked from the tree. Start with identifying key manual processes that drain your teams’ energies and present the most risk. Then tag those that will benefit the most from automation. That is where you start with your workflow implementation.
Replace data entry with automatic imports and task triggers. Eliminate manual hand-offs with automated work distribution, assignment of tasks, workload balancing, and movement of actions from one person or group to another. Automating manual processes will give you your biggest bang for the buck.
Utilize a Process Repository
There is no need to reinvent the wheel! A robust workflow platform will have a repository of processes to help start your implementation process. After all, workflow platforms are supposed to be making life within your organization easier. Simply review the processes that are available. Use them as is or tweak them to meet the needs of your business. You don’t have to start from scratch, which will save you time and money.
Fill the Gaps
If communication is the key to success, then workflow is King. Workflow communicates by moving around knowledge, expertise, and information, passing what is needed from person to person, team to team, and system to system. Each group gets what they need, when they need it, in real time. Identify areas within your organization where utilizing workflow’s communication automation will create cohesiveness.
Do you have a supervisor that needs a notification when a team member completes tasks, or doesn’t complete them? Do you have documents that float from team to team as a process is executed? Do you have data from one system that is needed in another? Again, start small - it’s all about knocking out those quick wins.
Every Monday morning you tell yourself: this will be the week we’ll implement workflow to improve the way our company operates. By Monday afternoon those good intentions have flown right out the window. Business continues as usual. That is—until you realize usual just isn’t good enough anymore.
Remove the obstacles and let tomorrow be the dawn of a new day. Implement your workflow solution and begin reaping all the benefits it has to offer!
Jane Mason, Founder and CEO
Jane has applied her vast experience (over 25 years) operating process-driven businesses to successfully redefine client-focused service. Jane has worked with expert programmers to apply cutting-edge web-based technology to automate complex processes in industries such as Financial Services, Healthcare and enterprise workflow. Her vision confirms Clarifire's trajectory as a successful, scaling, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. A University of South Florida graduate, Jane has received many awards related to her entrepreneurial skills.