However, implementing your workflow automation platform is just the first step. Here are five ways you can further refine your workflow to make your organization a lean, mean, efficiency machine:
Get to Talkin’
Yes, your workflow automation platform is now up and running—but how are your employees adapting to it? Is the platform intuitive enough so that Joe from accounting can monitor the progress of different financial workflows? Does it offer customization so your sales department can create on-brand collateral?
Feedback is your friend. Keep the lines of communication open across all departments and solicit feedback from key stakeholders—their input will provide valuable insight on what’s working, what’s not working, and what can be optimized for even greater productivity.
Audit, Audit, Audit
As the saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” However, if something is broken, you need to figure out where in the workflow the breakdown is happening—and fast.
Once you’ve gathered the opinions of the key stakeholders, lay it all out in a thoroughly constructed workflow audit. List out all of of your internal processes, identify any existing gaps, and create a roadmap of what an ideal workstream looks like in each department.
Establish Metrics for Good Measure
You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. And if you don’t have metrics in place, it’s impossible to know if your platform is operating at maximum efficiency.
First, figure out what you want your platform to achieve: Do you want sales to reduce administrative time by 25 percent? Do you want to reduce the amount of time your HR staff spends on filling out forms? When you identify the key objectives you want your platform to achieve, you can establish the KPIs you need to measure success—and then you’ll have an accurate benchmark of forms automation and platform performance.
Find the Silver Lining in the Cloud
If you’re looking for greater workplace collaboration, then look no further than the cloud. Cloud-based programs enable employees to work remotely from virtually any device, and it’s the perfect solution for an increasingly mobile workforce.
Look for ways to transition collaborative aspects of your workflow—like shared company documents to internal communications—to the cloud. This will help eliminate workflow boundaries, allowing you to create a seamless process for all employees with real-time, easy access and a consistent experience across all devices.
Take a Peek into the Future
So you talk to your key department stakeholders, you identify your workflow gaps and you fight tooth and nail to map out all of your internal processes—but then there’s a major internal shift that upends your workflow. What now?
To make your workflow automation platform work, you have to look beyond your current gaps and anticipate changes down the road. Map out your internal processes with an eye on the future—like department gaps, changes in leadership, etc.—and make sure your workflow can withstand these changes in the future.
Workflow automation platforms are the first giant step in process optimization—but it doesn’t mean that optimization stops there. By gathering input, mapping out your ideal workflow and keeping an eye on the horizon for internal shifts, you can ensure that your workflow automation platform is truly operationally efficient.