Businesses are rapidly adopting workflow automation, due to all the benefits it delivers in cutting admin and improving processes. But as with any new technology, ensuring a smooth deployment is important to get things up and running quickly, and get the maximum return on your investment. Here are 6 tips to introduce WFA to your organisation.
1. Define what you want to automate
A consultation period to define what people actually need is an important way to start. What are the processes that take up most of their time? What do they want automated? This will help you narrow your focus on what WFA solution fits your company best. Having staff test and give feedback on potential solutions will also help determine which to adopt, as well as making people feel more involved in the decision.
2. Get company buy-in
The more involved and informed people are about new technology, the more cooperative they will be about learning it and using it. This applies to senior management as well as employees further down the company. Ensure that you articulate all the benefits of the solution, and how it will specifically make different people’s work easier. Understanding different perspectives enables you to pre-empt any possible hurdles or disappointed expectations after deployment.
3. Plan ahead
Well before you start deploying workflow automation, you need to assess what impact it will have on day-to-day operations. It may be better to take a staggered approach and start by automating a single process to test the technology and any teething problems. Create a clear timeline of how and when the solution will be introduced. Some organisations may also prefer to deploy new technology over a quieter period, to minimise disruption to clients.
4. Provide training and support
You won’t get the maximum benefits from WFA if people don’t know how to use it properly. Preparing and training staff for the change is very important, as well as keeping any partners or clients informed of changes to your processes. People will vary in how quickly they learn new systems, and some may initially struggle and get frustrated. Ongoing support is critical as well, as technology evolves and users may experience a situation that wasn’t covered by their initial training.
5. Set milestones and monitor performance
Developing measurable success factors and performance metrics will ensure that you get the maximum out of your workflow automation. This includes both hard metrics, such as a reduction in admin hours or time savings per task, as well as soft metrics such as a rise in productivity or improved employee morale.
6. Seek feedback
Any new process or technology will involve a learning curve, and people may find their own ways to use it and even innovate with it. Keep a dialogue open with staff, and share views and ideas about how the solution is working out for everyone.
Introducing new technology is nearly always disruptive, and you should anticipate some pushback from people used to the “old ways”. By carefully preparing and involving stakeholders in the deployment journey, you can minimise any resistance and teething troubles.
Zapdat is the communication portal helping professionals manage client information, documents and data more efficiently. Join the successful professionals who are saving time and improving their client service with an easy-to-use system designed by professionals for professionals. Click here for a free trial.