Approaching process excellence the Nintex way

Dynamic. Innovative. Agile. The terms which businesses aspire to today speak of change, and the capacity to embrace it and run with it. That kind of organization doesn’t just evolve on its own. It’s the result of an intentional strategy, building a culture that empowers teams to identify and enact positive change for their work and your customers.

Nintex believes in facilitating that culture and providing tools to engage end-users that will help them challenge the status quo, for the good of the business. From process management and continuous improvement to focused automation solutions, Nintex offers business users and IT professionals common ground to seek better outcomes with a lasting impact.

Delivering those results requires an intelligent application of the tools and techniques available to change managers.

Here are five steps your organization can take to begin to enact positive change the Nintex way:

Identify a problem

It’s easy sometimes to see new tools and want to apply them as often and widely as possible to ensure good ROI. Unfortunately, that can actually work against effective outcomes. Instead, start by identifying some relevant targets that are tangible business problems.

Look at the processes your organization employs and examine them for existing inefficiencies. These will usually take the form of labor-intensive activities that involve shuffling data or exchanging paperwork. Look for multiple hand-offs between staff or teams, and long chains of data exchange. Consider where process breakdowns occur through simple transposition errors or failed communications.

Also identify anywhere that compliance or regulatory risk occurs in your processes, as these present significantly greater exposure to risk through process breakdowns.

Talk to the stakeholders

No one knows your processes better than the people that execute them every day, week, or month. They’re the subject matter experts that will be responsible for working with whatever solution will be implemented.

Talk to them about the pain points they experience. Get a clear picture of what is working in the current processes, and what really isn’t. Don’t stop just with the staff on the front line, though. Trace stakeholders through the organizational structure. Spend time gathering feedback from managers that track the team reporting, services that support the process execution, and those responsible for the processes both before and after the one in question.

Doing this paints a clear picture of the process as it is, and gives insight into how it could be. Possibly just as importantly, it invites the stakeholders into the conversation. When end-users understand that the changes being discussed are coming about to make their work better, they’re more likely to embrace them. By giving them a seat at the table, they’ll have a sense of ownership that will help them understand what you’re trying to achieve, and they’ll be more inclined to support it.

Document the process

Automating a bad process is a recipe for disaster. Rather than increasing efficiency, you’ll multiply the potential errors and issues, and waste time chasing them down. Instead, start by capturing the details of the existing process in a process map.

Failing to properly map your processes will only lead to costly rework and missed requirements, and won’t allow you to engage the business teams that use them as actively.

Nintex Promapp® provides an easy-to-use tool for teams to capture their processes in a central platform. Once the as-is state is documented, it creates a forum for users to provide feedback and suggestions, and to track the changes that come about as a result.

Once you’ve captured the processes you want to work with, those initial improvements can be identified and addressed. Then look for other places you can increase efficiency, accuracy, and execution timeframes. Paper forms, approval loops and reviews, and repeated system updates are all indicators that automation could be a valuable solution.

Select the right tools

A builder knows that not every problem can be solved with a hammer, so don’t limit your thinking to just one solution. There are numerous capabilities that Nintex offers to help automate and optimize business processes, and each business problem could have one or more potential solutions. Consider these cases:

Automate your staff

Some processes require multiple decision-makers or sequential manual actions. They can’t be performed by a bot or workflow, so need human interaction, but the potential delays and breakdowns between teams or individuals can severely hinder good process execution. Nintex Promapp offers the Process Checklist function to trigger automated notifications and highlight process actions that are due, accelerating process execution without taking people out of the loop.

Digitize the paperwork

Manual forms can slow down processes and introduce errors as data is transferred. Digital forms eliminate those steps and can route information directly to systems or other users for reviews or approvals. Nintex Workflow also provides a platform for automatically updating systems of record and can orchestrate an end-to-end process through the use of the workflow designer.

Move your data

Not all systems play nicely together, and the manual transfer of content is both mundane and error-prone. Nintex workflow uses a library of core connectors to link systems, enabling automated data transfer out of the box. If one of your systems isn’t supported, the Nintex Xtensions® Framework may be able to build a custom connector that ensures the process runs smoothly and quickly, every time.

Automate your entries

Not all legacy systems feature APIs or have the capacity to accommodate them, so manual entry may seem like the only option. There is an alternative though. Nintex RPA utilizes bots that work with existing legacy interfaces, ensuring the systems are up-to-date and kept in sync with the rest of your network, automatically. An RPA Botflow™ can also be called directly from within the Nintex Workflow Cloud® or can trigger a Nintex workflow to carry on the process.

Orchestrate your process

Other features of the Nintex platform can supplement and support these tools, to streamline process effectiveness. Document generation with Nintex DocGen® can automatically produce business documents from the process data without requiring lengthy rewrites, and the eSignature capability of Nintex Sign® powered by Adobe Sign will save paper and time, as electronic signatures are captured and stored in the cloud without needing physical copies, scans, and manual checks.

Measure and optimize

Once you’ve captured your process and identified the right solutions to improve it, you’ll want to track the benefits and look for more opportunities to add value. Management needs to see where process improvement has made a difference, so clear reporting and measurable results are vital for continued support.

Nintex offers OData feeds and Nintex Analytics to track the key metrics of your processes and quantify the improvements. Embedded reports will enable you to measure ROI in terms of time and cost, as well as highlighting other potential points for automation or improvement.

Business process excellence doesn’t just happen and finding the right path to better processes and greater customer satisfaction typically isn’t easy. Nintex believes it takes a culture of excellence, supported by a platform of tools that are employed intelligently and effectively for the best results.

 

 

Interested in talking about the solutions Nintex can offer your business, and see the difference that comes from approaching your processes the Nintex way? Contact us today.

 

 

Zoe Clelland

Zoe Clelland works as VP of Product & Experience, where she leads product management efforts across the Nintex Workflow Platform. She brings more than 15 years of defining every aspect of amazing digital user experiences to her role. Zoe holds a Ph.D. in Human Factors, Experimental Psychology from Texas Tech University.

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