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The 3 “A”s Guiding Process Automation in Your Organization – A LegalWeek Preview

Brian McGovern |

Think about this: Email is both the most widely used workflow tool and the worst workflow tool.

Email is the worst workflow tool because it provides only the minimum functionality needed to conduct work, a mode of convenient communication. It fails in every other measure, with no ability to:

  1.  Ensure the right information gets to the right person at the right time. Look at your inbox right now, I bet you have several email chains that are 10 – 15 reply- to-alls in, and no value has been created, and probably no real work has happened.
  2. No way to track and follow up automatically with requests that are waiting.
  3. No ability the correct people are getting the information needed to make good decisions.
  4. No way to understand volume or types of requests. You want to look back and see what has been going on in your departments, you need to go back and count emails!
  5. No ability to automate, especially in high volume processes. No person likes boring repeated activities, and people make a lot of mistakes when they do them.

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No matter how inefficient email is, companies and employees are used to the method of relying on emails for everything. That includes using email as a central place to store and share requests, information, even vital documents, instead of using the right tool, a workflow and process automation solution.

Here are three “A”s to help set your processes up for heightened business success and add continued value:


  • Review your processes. Look around your department. What are the things people always complain about, but never get better? Be on the lookout where there are high volume activities. Estimate how long this process takes based on two key metrics:
    • Work-time – how much employee time is spent on the task itself
    • Cycle-time – how much idle time happens between work time
  • Still not sure where to start? Ask your customers, whether internal or external; the customers define value and your process and they know where they are waiting too long, or aren’t getting what they want consistently.
  • It’s not hard to find processes that aren’t working; it is really important to figure out where and why. Very rarely do groups have a shared understanding of how a process spanning those groups is performing. Most of the time, people think they’re doing great, but have some serious concerns about how that other group is doing. Understanding these gaps between perception, and measurable reality will ultimately build better, more efficient solutions.


Since value is governed by the customer, you need to understand how to:

  • Determine the value:
    • What are the customer’s expectations?
    • What are our goals for delivering value?
    • What does “relentless drive to value” look like for us?
  • Eliminate everything else: If it does not or no longer serves value, find a way to get rid of those pieces. This is the time to abandon sentimental “nice-to-haves” and ruthlessly focus on the key processes your team needs to deliver well. This will be the key driver of how to make a process that functions really effectively.

This is the time to abandon sentimental “nice-to-haves” and ruthlessly focus on the key processes your team needs to deliver well.


High-volume, low-to-medium complexity processes can be automated to maximize value using best practices for:

  • Workflow tools
  • Processes for self-serve portals, repetitive agreements, compliance updates

Value and performance can be improved at each step of a digitized process, especially when analytics are applied.

Streamline the workflows that power your enterprise

There’s a reliance on workflows in every department of practically every organization, from law firms to corporations in HR, InfoSec, Procurement, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Operations, Compliance, and Legal.

Un-silo data and knowledge, operationalize efficiencies and create intuitively easy-to-use forms and workflows. How do you get this done? By using no-code tools that were specifically designed for smoothly automating business processes.

Join us for one of the many great sessions during LegalWeek in 2021. Find out more about the first of them we’ll be presenting, Driving Transformation and Innovation Using Workflow Automation.