The following three strategies offer a model to accommodate a Business Process Automation (BPA) plan:
Making an investment into BPA is an expensive decision for businesses. It is important to identify which areas of a workflow would produce the most widespread benefit, revenue building, and other business goals when automated. These areas should be the first to be automated, followed by areas of less priority in a staggered model of implementation.
This step-by-step approach allows staff, investors, and clientele alike to gain confidence from the early successes of the automation project, resulting in greater support for future development and implementation of automated workflows. It also allows for businesses to terminate, halt, or modify an automation project if its results are not as expected. This can help to prevent the investment from being viewed by stakeholders as wasteful or even damaging and costly to the business.
Generally, the workflow processes that initially deliver the greatest revenue growth from automation are the simplest tasks. The reason for this is straightforward: The more complex the process to be automated, the more risk there is for complications to arise. Thus, it is prudent to avoid unnecessary flaws when presenting your inaugural product to stakeholders.
However, this is not to say that the initial automated process needs to be perfect. A good, rather than perfect, process that is delivered on-time and within budget will be embraced by key stakeholders. Further improvements to the process can be made upon receiving user feedback after it has been successfully implemented.
Having a conversation with employees regarding the planned automation process can help the business leader gather detailed insights into the workflow/s to be automated. This can prevent out-of-date processes being unnecessarily automated and it can also help to fill in key missing steps that staff members may be familiar with.
It is crucial for businesses to have a form of human intervention available for all automated processes. Even the best automated systems will not be perfectly reliable, and this will impede the system from achieving its intended level of success. Thus, when an automated process encounters an error, a human safeguard should be there to engage in an error management process – to detect, explain, and correct the error.
Since the success of the automated process depends on the ability of the human safeguard regarding the error management process, it is crucial to develop their skills in this area. Providing access to effective training programs that focus on automation errors and how to recover from them is a convenient method to maintain these employees’ skills.
Interested in reading more about Business Process Automation? Read our previous instalments: