Business process automation (BPA) is a strategy that can yield tremendous results when implemented correctly. But despite the fact that many automation software providers have made their products easy to set up, some businesses are still getting it wrong.
How should you approach business process automation? What should you do and what should you not do? Who should be involved and why? If you find yourself asking any of these questions, read on. We’ve got you covered.
In a way, your approach to business process automation will determine the level of success you enjoy with it and the quality of results you get out of it. Approaching it properly will yield great results, and approaching it the wrong way may lead to a poor return on your investment. In our bid to lead you to the easiest, most rewarding experience, here are some of the things you should not do as you enter the world of business process automation.
Don’t start and immediately forget about it.
Many BPA adopters make the mistake of paying no attention to their automated system after the initial setup. They simply start and return to business as usual, leaving the system to run unmonitored. This is the wrong approach!
Of course automation is designed to do things on its own, processing your workflows automatically, but to get the most out of it, you need to keep an eye out for possible glitches and to find areas that need adjustments. At some point in the process, rules will need to be tweaked, steps will need to be removed or added, and other changes will need to be put in place. These human controls and interventions help to improve the system and make your business processes even more effortless. If you don’t monitor the system, you won’t even know that changes are necessary in the first place.
Don’t automate based on your feelings.
Business process automation works best when it is approached mindfully, with help from raw data.
In your efforts to automate your business processes, you should be guided by verified information. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t automate because you feel you should do so. You have to dig for your organization’s most pressing workflow problems, track metrics, and automate based exactly on your findings. It should be a direct response to the issues faced by your organization. Your decisions and activities ought to be data-driven for the best results.
This is the best way to resolve your organization’s pain points, get real results, and enjoy the highest returns on your investment in a business process automation tool.
Don’t be too strict with your processes.
In order to be able to optimize your business processes, you need to make appropriate changes based on new insights. Automation will let you in on insights you never had in your former manual system. As you make these discoveries, optimize accordingly. Don’t resist change to the point that it holds your business back. Be flexible!
This is especially vital if you are just getting started with business process automation. As with any new system, your automated system will need regular tweaks to thoroughly meet your organization’s needs. You might even ask for expert feedback regularly, and make necessary adjustments based on what your expert says. You should keep an eye on technological advancements on the market and update your system accordingly so that you don’t get left behind.
Don’t automate all of your processes.
Not every process requires automation. When you automate everything, you end up wasting time and effort on processes that ought not be automated.
In some cases, it’s better to eliminate the process altogether. If you have any doubt, you should verify whether or not the process is automatable. You can easily do this by interviewing the people who are currently carrying out the process.
Don’t automate all your automatable processes at once.
If you are looking to automate a large number of processes, the best approach is to roll out automation in phases.
With a staged rollout, you will be able to repair any issues that occur. You and your team will also learn more quickly, and as you get used to one process and succeed with it, you can more easily replicate your success across the board.
Don’t limit the power of workflow automation technology.
Workflow automation technology comes with great scalability. It can do as much or little as you want it to do.
While a BPA tool can be highly effective in automating routine tasks of one department, like your accounts payable, it can do so much more, optimizing a whole organization with truly complex business processes.
One key benefit of business process automation is its ability to dramatically connect all departments in an organization, bring together the entire infrastructure, and create a channel through which multiple users can easily collaborate.
This also means you should not focus on automating ground-level work, as this can limit the immense power of business process automation technology. A dependable automation tool can automate any process of your business, including confidential and critical work, as long as it’s done correctly.
Don’t approach automation from a solely technological standpoint.
Business process automation is technology-based, but for a great ROI, you need to look beyond the technology. You should first have a clear picture of the pain points you want your BPA tool to resolve, then approach the tool from a problem-solving angle.
When you do so, you will be able to focus more on the end results (the solutions) and how to achieve them, rather than getting caught up in the fuss and euphoria of technology.
Don’t jump into automation without first analyzing your current processes.
To successfully provide a solution, you need to know what the problem is. In this case of BPA, you will be required to extensively analyze your current working methodologies. This will help make the transition smoothly, ensuring that the overall business flow does not suffer.
Don’t leave your team out.
Automation is a business decision that will affect your whole organization or department; this decision isn’t just about you. You need to involve your team.
This is even more important when you realize that your team members will ultimately be the ones most affected by the change. They need to be involved right from the decision-making stage to the planning and implementation phases.
Be sure they understand how the new automated system works, are committed to using it, and that they know the benefits they stand to get out of it. This will put everyone on the same page and increase your chances of succeeding.
Don’t forget to assign someone to oversee the project.
Assigning someone with the responsibility of managing the overall BPA project can be a crucial step in successfully implementing the system. When all the feedback goes to one person, miscommunication is minimized and reporting becomes easier.
This person’s responsibilities should include:
- Receiving requests and complaints from users
- Reporting back to upper management
- Working with the automation software vendor to fully automate the system and resolve issues
- Providing the team with information necessary for successful implementation
- Looking into metrics and suggesting ways to optimize
Don’t automate without a goal in mind.
What is your reason for adopting BPA? Are you automating just because that’s what everyone is doing?
Having a clear goal will help you focus more. We recommend that you even put it in writing, share it with your team, and review it regularly.
Whether your goals are to complete tasks more quickly or reduce costs, be sure they are tied to resolving your organization’s pain points. Ensure they are S. M. A. R. T — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Don’t work without expert guidance.
Unless you’re ready for some head-scratching and holdups, don’t go it alone. This applies no matter how confident you feel about your knowledge.
Get expert help to guide you through the process. Some BPA service providers will even provide you with this type of guidance for free, especially at the initial phase of implementation.
Working hand-in-hand with an automation expert not only makes the implementation process smooth, but a good guide will also help you save substantially. Troubleshooting and scaling up become a lot easier with the right advice.
Don’t compromise on supporting hardware and software.
When it comes to workflow automation, the quality of the software you choose, as well as that of its supporting hardware, is critical to the success of your BPA.
With an overwhelming number of automation softwares on the market, making a choice can prove a challenge. But you don’t want to end up with inferior products that will jeopardize your team’s productivity or compromise the effectiveness of your workflow system. This is why it’s important to take the time to research the tools you would like to use. Don’t shy away from what’s right for your business.
Start by documenting your desired features, identifying vendors, viewing web demos, conducting site visits, and checking references. If you’re on a budget, it’s advisable that you wait, or start small instead of compromising on the quality.
This doesn’t mean you should pick an exorbitant solution, but a cost-effective one with great service. With pricing of less than $5 per user per month (and an option to use it for free, for as long as you want), Pyrus is an example of such a high-quality tool with amazing offerings.
The tool lets you automate your business processes intuitively. You don’t need programming or IT knowledge to use it and our team of experts will even work with you right from day one to ensure your business process automation is successful. With mobile versions available for platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Android Wear, you can literally work from any place, effortlessly.
Start using Pyrus today for free by requesting a demo through the form below.