March 22nd, 2017 • BPM
Automating your business processes is more than just implementing a BPM platform. Bringing your processes under an automated system reflects a broader cultural change in the organization.
An organization that runs on automation is fundamentally different from one that is manual. What kind of changes might you expect in your company culture after switching over to automation for a few months?
In a manual environment, there is a lot of shrouded knowledge concerning how things get done. Some of the ambiguity is intentional and some is just the result of no one taking responsibility. Manual processes are haphazard and sporadic, with little clarity about the roles and responsibilities of every stakeholder in the process.
Consider a travel expense approval process. When a new employee needs to submit a claim, they first have to ask around for a form and then find out to whom it should be submitted. If the same employee wants to check the status of his request, he’ll be lucky if he can figure out whose desk the form is on, or worse, whose email inbox.
Now think of this in an automated system. The employee knows how to start a claim, and can check the progress of the claim at any time. He can see that it is waiting for his manager to be approved, or that the finance head is waiting to release the payment.
When a process is automated, it must be clearly spelled out, which is a good thing for everyone to see transparency in how things get done.
When processes are handled manually, people tend to deflect requests, pass the buck, or blame their spam filters for not completing tasks. In a manual environment, it’s easy for an individual to blame ‘the system’ and focus on problems rather solutions.
Bringing processes under automation makes individual accountability crystal clear. When one person is responsible for a task, it is obvious where the hangup is. If that person needs more information, he or she can send it back for clarification or reject it to a previous step.
In an automated process, you can send a manual nudge or schedule automatic reminders. If everybody knows what they are accountable for, there are less errors and employees are less indifferent.
When your whole organization is using the same BPM solution, a process can easily involve people from multiple departments. In a software company, the sales team often complains that they are kept out of the loop of product development and feature announcements. With an automated workflow the Product Management team can include a notification or a request for comments about a new feature to systematize good communication.
When the processes of all the departments are automated, disparate systems which are usually stuck in a single function can be integrated to make the data flow easier and seamless.
For example, your CRM and your accounting software don’t usually interact that much. But when you have a sales order automated application, you can link the two so that when a sale is made, the invoice is automatically processed in the accounting software.
This helps process owners make better decisions and saves your team from the perils of manual errors. Cross-functional teams can work more efficiently, as multiple systems are integrated with a common platform.
At the same time, in a robust workflow platform, you still get control over the data security, limiting access to only those who need it.
As you implement a new BPM platform, be cognizant of the changes and the repercussions that they bring about ahead of time. When the decision to automate the business processes is fully informed, the implementation of BPM leads to constructive cultural changes in your organization and helps you reap the fruits of your investment. Sign up for a free trial of KiSSFLOW and understand how BPM implementation can save you considerable time and cut down your operational costs.