Regardless of where your organization currently is on its digital transformation journey, it pays to take a step back and analyze how to improve workflow automation. Workflow solutions can speed up digital transformation, but when done incorrectly they can quickly get out of hand. Digital transformation shouldn’t be seen as a race, but a journey. And journeys always work out better when there’s a map or guide to follow. So, here’s our three-step workflow automation guideline to point you in the right direction.
Workflow automation guidelines for 2021
To accommodate an increase in remote working, organizations have sped up digital transformation. Although the remote working trend was set in motion years earlier, the sudden emergence of a global pandemic brought forward the timetable.
What would otherwise have been a carefully planned long-term initiative ended up looking more like a 100-meter sprint. And that’s not ideal. When taking a long journey, or running a marathon, it’s not a good strategy to go all-out for the first hundred yards. You may be out front at the 15-second stage, but then you may find you’ve used up most of your energy already and have another four hours to go.
Similarly, in this rush at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many processes and workflows may have been missed or only partially automated. You need a careful plan that assesses the current state of your workflows, what your organizations needs to improve, how to go about this, and then how to monitor what works and what doesn’t. This way you can guarantee ongoing success.
So, with all of that in mind, we’ve prepared a three-step workflow automation guideline.
Three steps to workflow solutions success
Our three-step workflow automation guideline goes as follows:
- Map and manage
Step one: Map and manage
Process mapping allows you to see the current state of your processes and workflows. You can see their strengths and weaknesses, how improvement can be made, and who is involved in each process. This enables you to plan and manage your workflows, including ownership, and you can make more informed decisions about how to progress with workflow automation.
Step two: Automate
Now that you have identified what to automate, you can employ process automation solutions to get the job done. Different types of processes will require different automation solutions. For instance, workflows can be automated with dedicated workflow solutions such as Nintex Advanced Workflow. But document generation, electronic forms, and robotic process automation can also be used for other parts of the process, which will be crucial to making sure workflows are as efficient as possible.
Step three: Optimize
The final stage involves using advanced analytics to gain insights into the performance of your workflows. Measure efficiency and discover trends to provide actionable insights that lead to better workflows. Don’t skimp here, because the more opportunities for improvement you discover now, the better your workflows will perform from the very beginning. Make them as perfect as possible.
Why this approach works
The first and last steps are often more neglected than step two. Without steps one and three, step two is like the 100-meter sprint that we were talking about earlier, quickly producing workflows that may not go the distance.
To use another analogy, it’s also like starting your journey without a map. From the beginning, you need to:
- Know the current state of workflows, so that you can plan what to do
- Monitor success and look for areas to improve
A big benefit of the latter is that it can be used initially to highlight quick wins. That can inspire enthusiasm for wider transformation across the organization.
Once a workflow has been digitized, it doesn’t mean you’re done with it. You might move onto another process or another area of the business, but it’s crucial to monitor the success of previous efforts. See what works and what doesn’t, and then go back and improve these further. Step one and step three will always inform what and how you automate in step two. That is how to succeed at digital transformation and ensure it is not just a process of digitization but a transformation journey.
Workflow solutions to take you forward
The Nintex Process Platform provides the full range of process automation and workflow solutions. From process mapping with Nintex Promapp® to workflow automation with Nintex Advanced Workflow to advanced analytics with Nintex Analytics, we have you covered. We also provide solutions for document generation, robotic process automation, and much more.
That’s why so many organizations trust Nintex to power their digital transformation journeys forward.
To learn more about how a workflow automation guideline can help your organization and how workflow solutions like Nintex can take it to the next level, get in contact with the Nintex team today.