Why process knowledge is key to business success (and how intelligent process automation can help)
For modern businesses, data has become a commodity. There are now countless applications that organizations can leverage to build data profiles, access that data, and use it for better decision-making. Despite this, many organizations are still not using data effectively, or in a way that drives operational change.
Data surrounding processes is one big example of untapped business knowledge. Business processes underpin the work of every organization. However, these processes are often outdated (e.g. paper-based or manual), contain bottlenecks, or don’t function as they need to. Generating more knowledge about your processes, using a visual process map, will help you to determine which processes require intelligent process automation.
The process of building knowledge
To build knowledge around your processes, you first need to document what they are. Compiling a list of processes will build an accurate picture of operations within your organization. Or using Kyron’s process discovery technology, you can automate this first step. With a clear view of your processes, you’ll be able to see how many of these are manual, paper-based, or already automated.
If a significant number of processes are automated, this is a good indication that your processes are up to date. If a higher proportion are paper-based – for example, if you’re working with paper invoices or using paper-based signature capture for employee onboarding – then you might want to consider refining these processes for greater operational success.
Process mapping is the first step
Process mapping is a great way to capture visual knowledge around your processes. It involves creating a visual picture of each process, in diagrammatic form, working out things like which steps are involved, who is contributing to the process, and whether this is the best model for each. It also helps identify bottlenecks or unnecessary steps/contributors within each process.
To build a process map, follow the steps below:
- Identify your processes. Create a list and document how each is carried out (e.g. whether paper-based, manual, or whether tools are involved, such as a project management or data automation tool).
- Involve the right people. Sit down with contributors to the process, regardless of how many there are, and understand the process from their point of view. This will help in the process of uncovering bottlenecks, areas for improvement, unnecessary steps, etc.
- Think about the inputs, outputs, and steps. It might be helpful to first think about the information your process map requires. This will include things like inputs, outputs, contributors to the process, and the various steps involved.
- Create your process map. Draw out the process in its current state, using a diagrammatic graph. Or use Nintex’s Promapp® for a faster result. The visual format helps to gain a clear view over more complex processes – i.e. long-term processes, or those including multiple/branching steps.
- Identify areas for improvement. Work out which parts of the process need refining. Look out for bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
- Work out a solution. If you do find inefficiencies within your process, think about how the process could be improved. A bottleneck, for example, might be improved by an additional step. A slow-moving process or manual process will be improved by data automation.
- Keep refining. It’s important that, once you find a solution to a process, you work to keep refining it.
How process automation can help
Using a process map is a great way to build knowledge around your processes. It can indicate the need for process enhancement solutions, such as data automation or task management tools.
Use the knowledge you acquire from process mapping to discover which intelligent process automation tool best suits your organization. Process automation can build on this knowledge to find a solution.
With process automation, you’ll experience:
- Fast-tracked operations
- Greater efficiency
- Reduced error
- Greater transparency
- Heightened morale
- Standardized processes
- Cost savings
- Immediate ROI
Join your process knowledge together with Nintex
Nintex helps your organization to generate knowledge around your processes. With Nintex Promapp® you can gain knowledge about your processes and establish visibility over them. Use our visual process mapping software to encourage company-wide collaboration, increase accountability, and discover how your processes are best refined.
Our visual process mapping software is the first step toward intelligent process automation. With process automation, you’ll discover an immediate ROI with fast-tracked processes and transparency over each one. Your operations can become standardized, made accountable for and, most importantly, automation helps you save on cost.
Join up the dots in your operations with process mapping, process discovery, and intelligent process automation.
Interested in learning more about how Nintex and Nintex Promapp® can help your organization? Contact Nintex today for a free trial.