How to make the switch from manual processes to digital automated workflows – smoothly
Your manual, paper-based processes are no doubt deeply entrenched in how you run your business and utterly familiar to your staff. Switching to automated digital workflows can therefore seem like more trouble than it’s worth. There’s the perceived hassle of digitising existing paperwork, trying to replicate processes and then the training of staff.
But it needn’t be that way. With good preparation in the initial stage the transition can be incredibly smooth – which means staff will be able to shift seamlessly into the new way of working with minimal effort.
When we work with businesses to transition them from manual processes to automated workflows and cloud-based document management systems we ensure the initial planning stage is robust, following some simple steps.
It’s important to involve the right people in the planning stage so day to day processes can be understood completely. That includes not only management but also key users. Whilst management will have an overall view of the business’ processes, the day to day realities can differ somewhat. Only by understanding those processes at every level can a digital solution be properly planned.
Working with the stakeholders, we carefully map each process that is to be digitalised. This can be invoice processing, human resource management, whatever is required. With the process visualised using our Process Planner it becomes very simple to replicate it digitally. It’s important at this stage not to make any radical changes until the process has been reviewed by the stakeholders.
Testing & Improvement
Once the workflow has been created it enters testing stage and it’s here that the new automated processes can be reviewed and improvements made. It may become clear, for example, that some steps in the workflow are unnecessary and can be removed, improving efficiency and saving time. It’s an ongoing process too. As users work with the digital solution they can come back with more suggestions over the course of several months, whether it’s tweaks to the automation or new processes all together.
Aside from those involved in visualising your workflow processes, your staff’s first exposure to your new digital way of working is the training. It’s therefore important to stress the benefits of the solution at this stage so they have a positive learning experience. Here are some tips on how both we and you can ensure a fast and smooth uptake of your automated workflows.
- Train administrators and power users first – they will be a vital in-house resource and will be able to assist in the training and support of the rest of your staff.
- Introduce training at testing stage – the best way to learn is by doing so running through processes using test scenarios is a great way to get users used to the system. It will also allow problems to be surfaced early and resolved quickly.
- Involve admins and power users – having your experienced users sit in on staff training allows them to provide one to one support where needed and gives them experience in giving ongoing support beyond initial training.
- Focus on the day to day tasks – the majority of staff don’t need to know how a DMS works, just how they will use it. So focus on the tasks they will carry out and steer clear of the internal workings.
- Integrate hands-on experience – users learn by doing so giving them the opportunity to carry out simple tasks during training means they can come back with genuine questions and concerns.
- Provide additional resources – by giving staff additional resources they can access you empower them to continue learning beyond the training session(s). Resources could include a glossary of unfamiliar terms, videos and links to online resources such as those provided by DocuWare.
The transition does not have to be difficult IF you prepare well in the first place. Keeley Travis can help your digital transformation – smoothly and with little disruption. Call us now to discuss your requirements on 0161 683 4247 or contact us via email here.