March 22, 2021

Steps to identify the business processes that need to be automated

In the last article, we talked about the importance of Business Process Automation (BPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to your business. However when you want to implement your first workflow automation project, what are the steps to take? Where should you start? I will share the steps to identify the best processes to be automated, including an example.

Business Processes

Step 1. Understand what business process require automation

First, you will need to know what criteria of a business process are considered good for automation. BPA and RPA make use of robots and applications to replace the manual actions within your processes, hence you should try to break your process into smaller tasks and see which one of them can be automated.

Usually, if your process meets the following criteria, it’s a good sign that it needs automation:

    • Tasks in the process are highly repetitive and used very frequently
    • Tasks are standardized, based on business rules
    • The process is well documented, stable with no foreseeable changes

Business Processes

Step 2. Identify the project, define goals and success metrics

After you have identified and selected your first project for automation, you can start defining business goals. With the help of your as-is workflow, it should not be hard. How many manual tasks in the process do you want to replace? How much work effort do you want to save? How much time do you want to save for a single process instance?

While for success metrics, it could also be the increase in customer satisfaction and the decrease in human errors. It could be anything as long as you have the business reasons behind to support, keep monitoring, and reviewing.

Step 3. Select your project owner and automation solution

A good project owner is the key to your success, someone with in-depth business knowledge and technical capability would be a good choice. Furthermore, he/she would need to have a dedicated period for this project so it would be quick for the team to make compressed decisions, validate the progress and identify potential risks.

Another vital point would be the choice of solution.

First, you need to understand the features of each type of automation solution. It’s as simple as that –

    • if there are lots of decision making, approval steps in your workflow, Business Process Management tools might be your choice;
    • If there are lots of repetitive tasks such as screen capturing and copying files from A to B, then you should go for Robotic Process Automation tools;
    • and of course, you can always go for a combination of both, if there is a need for it.

I am not going to go into detail about the different products on the market (Stay tuned for my next blog!)

Nintex Promapp

Nintex Promapp is a great tool to establish visibility and control over your company’s processes. Promapp enables you to easily identify opportunities for automation across your business processes.

Example of a process you can automate

Employee Onboarding is always a good example: it often involves integration with legacy systems, and there are lots of paperwork and email communications between different departments.

As-Is Process:

Normally when an employee joins the company, the new joiner will exchange emails with a member from the HR team including filling in personal information. Then, the HR member will have to submit requests for the creation of user accounts, email addresses, request for building access, and all work equipment.

There will be a lot of manual work and email communications involved between different parties. Each party will then have to perform the tasks manually.

To-Be Process:

With the help of automation solutions, a digital form can be automatically sent to the new employee once the HR team member confirmed their start date. After approval by the HR member, emails will be sent to the different departments with the employee’s personal information without any human intervention. With the integration between Office365 and the Exchanger server, the employee’s user account and email address can be created with one click.  Automatic reminders can also be sent to the task assignee when the deadline is close.

In addition to the above, as now all data and action histories are stored in a centralized data repository, full audit trails and metrics can be easily retrieved.

Read more about automation solution by industry and department here

Contact us if you would like to know more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author
Wai Lok Ng
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