Workflow Automation Q&A #6: What are the 6 Key Steps to Implementing Workflow Automation?
If you’re looking to implement workflow automation – great! But before you make that move, follow these six key steps.
Taking a methodical approach to deploying your WFA solution will make all the difference in terms of how immediate and substantial your success and ROI will be.
Step 1: Identify the processes that are causing your department or organization the most pain.
The “pain” your enterprise is feeling can consist of any loss of time, money, or even risk compliance. Start by looking at the workflows that have a lot of people involved, or have too many complicated steps. Those are usually the processes where the most mistakes and inefficiency crop up.
Step 2: Look at similar use cases in your industry.
Do you fall under HR, Legal Operations, Government, or Finance? See what others are doing with their workflows. Often, process automation success is repeatable with adjustments, so you may be able to use them as templates. You can also combine different use cases and customize how your automated process will run. See what how our friends from Yahoo transformed their legal operations.
Step 3: Consider your options for workflow automation.
Often, there’s concern about how much IT will be involved, because their involvement usually means cost and delay. You should consider how easy the platform or solution is to implement and use. Does it truly allow for drag-and-drop design of forms and workflows, or is there heavy coding involved? Is it a rip-and-replace solution, or will it integrate uncomplainingly with your existing systems? You can read more about your Key Considerations in choosing an automation provider here.
Step 4: Prioritize which processes to automate first.
Out of the box, you might want to address the ones take a lot of steps or have a number of stakeholders involved. Workflow automation can be the key to eliminating redundant or complicated steps to get the job done. It can also eliminate human error by handling a lot of the work that doesn’t require critical thinking, freeing up the time of people in your company to produce innovative, far more complex ideas.
Step 5: Create a plan around implementation and process change.
The success of implementing any new technology often depends on leadership clearly thinking through how this new plan will impact the department and even the organization. Have a change management plan in place that accounts for training, impact on current workflows, and communications to employees. You’ll want your digital transformation to inspire your employees, not confuse them. If you successfully manage this change, you’ll turn a lot of them into enthusiastic evangelists.
Step 6: Set your KPIs to measure the ROI of your new platform.
There are a lot of potential improvements and benefits from workflow automation, so define the ones that matter most to your organization. For example, consider the number of hours and costs involved in fixing errors from manual, mundane processes. If your KPI quantifies the savings you’ve realized from workflow automation, it’s one more way of reporting how it’s delivering proven ROI to the enterprise.
Want to find out even more? Get the download available below, The ThinkSmart Guide to Workflow Automation. It’s an all-inclusive look at every aspect of picking the right solution, and the benefits it’ll deliver to your organization.