The unprecedented events of the past few years have boosted digital transformation across the world as companies have focused more and more on efficiency and employee wellbeing.
Process automation has remained at the forefront to deliver on these goals. This was done quickly to enable efficiency across a remote workforce and to deliver products/services to consumers during the upheaval. Businesses moved their teams swiftly onto team management tools and implemented paperless processes.
However, this appetite for automation has led companies to overhaul their old processes without asking key questions:
- Why do we need to automate?
- What do we want to accomplish?
- How is automating going to make us competitive in the global marketplace?
Not everyone has therefore reaped the benefits of automation. To automate processes effectively, there are strategies that all businesses, including yours, should follow for successful automation.
Common automation strategy mistakes
Before you can start to implement your automation strategy, you need to understand the red lines and pitfalls that many businesses fall into. Here are the most common:
Not knowing your end goal
If you’re not aware of why you want to overhaul and automate processes, then you’ll end up wasting time and having convoluted solutions that decrease efficiency, rather than drive it.
Doing it because everyone else is
Jumping on the bandwagon isn’t the way to do it. Peers that have started before you (likely) have their goals outlined, their new processes thought through, etc. Stop and think first.
Automating the wrong processes
Knowing the issues that your company is facing leads to better automation. If the wrong processes are automated, then you risk creating more heartache for all teams involved.
Not testing before launching
Process automation takes time to build and implement — hence why testing is essential. Find any bugs, expand into processes that you didn’t consider. Test, test, and test.
Successful automation strategies to believe in
Businesses that implement process automation into their operational framework properly stand to get the most out of it. They’re able to:
- Speed up company efficiency by connecting tools to each other and eliminating bottlenecks.
- Reduce costs by making paper-based and timely processes obsolete.
- Manage data more effectively by cutting out dull data tasks.
- Go to market faster by streamlining workflows and boosting collaboration
- Improve employee morale by cutting rote, repetitive tasks from workloads — this in turn drives up retention
If you want to achieve the same benefits from your automation strategy, you need to execute the following:
Put people first, not tasks
Remember, you’re making the lives of your employees, clients, and customers easier. Don’t lose sight of that. Process automation is for their benefit.
Ensure that everyone’s considerations are taken into account and that you know the ins and outs of why it’s in their benefit to automate a process. Think about how your proposal aligns with their needs.
Outline why you want to do it
So many businesses forget how pivotal this is to their automation strategy. Before you consider automating, think about what is going on in your organisation:
- What processes are sapping time or causing blockages in workflows?
- Are there departments that can work more efficiently with automated processes?
- Where can paper-based tasks be eliminated to follow sustainable policies?
Strategy is needed before implementation of automation. Decide on your goals and then you can move on to finding the right solution for you.
Know your measurements for success
Automated processes are great, but how do you know they’re working? What metrics are you using to define success? Analytics is vital to any long-term automation strategy.
Set targets that you want this new process to achieve, allocate a timeline that it needs to achieve XYZ in, and schedule consistent review stages so you know you’re getting the best out of it.
Have suitable training strategies in place
New processes need time to become the norm. Teams will be used to the old ways and will need assistance in traversing the new landscape that is put in front of them. Training sessions ensure everyone is on the same page, everyone knows how to use the new systems, questions are asked, and no issues exist as the system goes live. By having a cohesive workforce behind the new automated processes, a seamless workflow can function without interruption.
Pick a platform flexible enough to meet future needs
This is essential. If you have a problem and the wrong tool to fix it, then you’re not going to get very far. All too often, businesses pick a tool that clearly aligns with one issue and believe it can also be used for another. While there are automation tools that can bring efficiency to a large set of problems at once, each issue will usually require its own solution. Finding the right tool for the right problem is key.
Implement a successful automation strategy with Nintex
The road to automation starts here. Transform the way you work using tools that stretch across the needs of all sectors including financial services, legal, education, manufacturing and governance.
Nintex has automation solutions to help you every step of the way — from process discovery and mapping to workflow automation, RPA, analytics, and more. Nintex provides you the tools your automation strategy needs to become a driving force in your future success.
Sectors that rely heavily on manual work and paper-based processes can find liberation in automating time-consuming tasks. In the post-pandemic world, where the rush to automate has transformed the way many businesses work, automation is here to stay.
Looking to automate and not sure where to start? Contact our team to begin your automation journey!