While business leaders often are exceptional at outlining and communicating a business’s guiding strategy, that does not always result in an entire organization working together to bring that strategy to fruition. Different lines of business comprise hundreds or even thousands of employees using different technology, systems, and methods to accomplish different kinds of work. And processes are the way all these different inputs interact to actually perform the work that enables organizations to reach their goals.
So how does a business ensure that its processes are as efficient as possible and are producing work that is aligned with your organization’s overall business goals and strategies? What is the best way to make sure you are eliminating redundancies and your employees’ work is producing the most value?
According to a new eBook produced jointly by RPA Today and Blueprint Software, these questions can only be answered if businesses have a complete understanding of the current state of all the processes they are using to accomplish their work and that those processes are optimized and aligned with an organization’s business goals. In other words, creating process excellence.
The new paper, titled Embracing Process Excellence: How Process Analysis Impacts Your Bottom Line, acknowledges how important process intelligence has become as part of digital transformation efforts and implementing automation strategies. More importantly, it outlines how technology that delivers a comprehensive and centralized approach to collecting, analyzing, understanding and optimizing processes can add significantly to your business’s bottom line as it engages in that transformation.
Establishing a Starting Point
Nearly every business is trying to get a handle on all its processes, how they interact and where they could be more efficient and more aligned with the organization’s overall business goals. Not every organization—especially larger enterprises—is able to do that effectively.
“Businesses are trying really hard to optimize their processes, but the information they need to complete each one is all over the place,” says Tony Higgins, chief product officer at Blueprint Software Systems. “It could be in SharePoint, Slack, in people’s heads. It’s coming from everywhere, and it requires meetings, reviews, sign-offs, and more reviews. That’s the method by which they’re trying to get alignment. It’s incredibly wasteful, and some achieve it to a degree. None of them a hundred percent.”
To effectively analyze and accurately describe the current state of its processes, a business should, according to the eBook, be able to collect and centralize the data associated with all its processes in one location and in a common format. Information that already exists internally—from RPA platforms, process and task mining tools, observation, and task capture, etc.—must be quantified and assessed to determine how each can be improved. But that improvement should not come at the cost of abandoning what is already working.
Most importantly at this stage, the authors wrote, organizations must consider the key performance indicators (KPIs) it has established companywide as metrics that signify success and ensure its processes are aligned with those KPIs.
Optimization and Automation
Only after a business has assessed its current state and quantified its process data, can work begin on improving the ones that can be improved or culling the ones that cannot to boost performance and outcomes. At this point, identifying candidates for automation becomes much clearer and the value of understanding and optimizing processes fully emerges.
According to Blueprint’s Higgins, process excellence is a lot like a GPS—it’s impossible to plot a course to a better place without first knowing exactly where you are.
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