Large businesses and public sector organizations are seeing enormous benefits from enterprise workflow automation every single day. This technology is proven to generate ROI of up to 200% – no wonder it’s the main focus of digital transformation at 69% of businesses.
But using enterprise workflow software does not always lead to instant success – it can sometimes even be met with resistance from employees. To make a success of your enterprise process automation project, it is vital to start with a strategy. Let’s see how.
3-step strategy for your enterprise workflow automation project
Enterprise workflow software can do amazing things, but it won’t automatically generate results, and deployment projects can sometimes stall or even fail. Typically, this happens because of poor communication about enterprise workflow management, lack of skills or unclear goals.
The following strategy guide can help increase the chances that your enterprise process automation project will meet your expectations.
Step 1: Groundwork for enterprise process automation
Before you begin installing enterprise workflow software or automating processes, it is vital to build the groundwork for your project. At this stage you should:
- Set your goals and vision: What kinds of processes and workflows do you want to automate, why, and what for? By beginning your project with a clear vision, it helps to focus minds and inform choices around software and the processes you automate.
In many enterprises and public sector organizations, a key goal is to do more with less. Business leaders wish to drive efficiency and increase productivity without needing to employ additional staff. You might also want to set KPIs at this point: X number of employee-hours saved, or a percentage reduction in documents with errors, for instance.
Whatever your ambitions, being guided by a clear purpose will ensure that the project doesn’t just turn into a handful of helpful but limited automations, but instead transforms productivity organization-wide.
- Data management and security first: Enterprise workflow management projects normally involve the movement of data between different systems where it may be accessible to different individuals. Without proper planning, this could result in information being seen by people who should not have access to it. It is therefore vital to bring security considerations into your enterprise workflow automation plans from day one.
Step 2: Starting small
When you are beginning an enterprise process automation project, it is generally advised to start small before gradually rolling out the technology across the business. This enables you to learn how the software works, train staff, and build up your skillset.
- Select appropriate technology: You will need to begin by choosing enterprise workflow software that integrates with your existing technology stack and which also allows you to do things like process mapping. It can be helpful to experiment using free trials to see how the technology works and if it suits your needs.
- Start small: Begin by selecting a specific process at your organization which is time-consuming but also relatively simple. Popular starting points for an enterprise workflow automation project include things like approval processes, data entry, and simple forms (such as vacation requests).
Building out these processes is normally fairly straightforward, and you can often find templates in your workflow software to make the process even faster. Starting small means you generate quick wins and demonstrate the value of the technology to your colleagues.
- Involve stakeholders: As you begin building more workflows, it is essential to involve all stakeholders at the organization – including those who currently perform individual steps within the workflows. They can help you with everything from mapping to building out process logic.
Step 3: Transforming the business with enterprise workflow automation
As you begin expanding the number of automated processes across the business, you will need to maintain the momentum in this transformation project:
- Change management: When you begin deploying enterprise workflow software you are potentially changing how many people do their jobs. It is therefore extremely important to bring people on the journey with you, communicate about the purpose of the project and get buy-in from everyone. By using change management techniques, you can encourage greater adoption of the technology, educate people, and overcome resistance.
- Train and evangelize: Enterprise workflow management projects are most successful when they take on a life of their own. Ideally, staff will feel comfortable opening up the workflow software and creating and improving their own processes without the involvement of the IT department at all. To achieve this, employees need training and guidance to use the technology. It’s often helpful to have at least one employee who is dedicated to promoting the concept, and helping coworkers find processes to automate.
- Keep improving and monitoring: As your use of enterprise workflow software grows, it is essential to continually monitor your automations, look for ways to improve them, and expand their impact. Once you are comfortable with the fundamentals of enterprise process automation, you may then want to consider things like robotic process automation (RPA), to take your digital transformation projects to the next level.
Success with enterprise workflow automation
Enterprise workflow automation helps thousands of companies around the world to boost productivity, save money, and allow staff to work on more high-value activities.
Nintex’s enterprise workflow software empowers large organizations in the private and public sector to experience the benefits of automation every single day.
To learn more about Nintex and how it can help you automate your processes, browse our industry pages to discover examples of process automation at companies like yours. Or, contact us today for a demonstration.