By Mike Raia | Published March 13, 2023
You've reviewed all your department's processes and worked hard to eliminate bottlenecks and other inefficiencies. Everyone knows what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done. Mistakes have been eradicated. Turnaround times have dropped from weeks to days to hours. Life is good.
Here are some ideas to consider if you want to take your processes beyond efficient.
Focus on User Experience
User Experience (UX) ensures people have a positive, enjoyable, and rewarding experience when interacting with a system. Process administrators can strive to create user flows and interfaces that are easy to use and intuitive.
To achieve this, administrators can conduct user research using surveys and create prototypes to test and validate with users. By doing so, they can ensure that the final process is optimized for the user and provides a seamless, stress-free experience. On what user elements should you focus? Forms, dashboards, email notifications, task screens, and the overall process. Is it clear what users need to do at every step?
Maintenance is about making sure that processes remain efficient and effective over time. This could mean reviewing procedures quarterly or yearly to ensure they're still optimized.
- Are all the recipients still the best people to handle those tasks?
- Are you assigning tasks to groups when you don't need to?
- Are people getting too many notifications or unnecessary notifications?
- Are your notifications clear, and are you using "Approve by Email" when you can?
- Do you have reports or dashboards that don't get used?
- Are there form labels that should be changed to be clearer?
Even the best-planned process, full of documentation, user interviews, and modeling, can’t catch every exception before it happens. Once your process is running IRL, things happen.
What exceptions consistently appear now that the process has been running for a while? Do you need to revisit forms to add additional options and rules? Are there additional people that need to be added to the process to avoid separate emails/check-ins?
Get Creative with End User Coaching/Training
It's natural that, over time, people will need to be reminded of best process practices, especially if they only interact intermittently with the process. Developing creative ways to remind process stakeholders how to use the system can go a long way to keeping things moving smoothly.
- Create "Job Aids" with simple/visual cues explaining steps and roles.
- Video, video, video! Use a screen capture tool to create quick, punchy videos showing exactly how to perform tasks and where to go to X, Y, and Z.
- Host quarterly “Lunch and Learns” to reinforce best practices and update changes to the process.
- Add field descriptions throughout forms to explain what is expected in each field.
- Document the process and incorporate that into your SOPs
Spread the Efficiency
Many processes cut across functional areas. For instance, onboarding an employee involves almost every department, from HR to Finance to IT. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that each department utilizes workflow automation to drive efficiency. There may be opportunities to automate other processes that feed your process.
For instance, in the employee onboarding scenario, IT may need access approval from another department once IT gets notified of a new employee. For example, a new sales rep needs access to the CRM system, which must be approved by the employee's manager and then the Sales Director. What if IT could automate that process?
There is a snowball effect as more departments become automated on the same system. Processes that feed processes are faster, and eventually, the entire organization is more efficient.
Continue to Optimize
As mentioned above, it’s easy to be satisfied once you have a process operating within Integrify. However, to get the most out of the software, it is always recommended that those processes be challenged and automated even more as you further develop your Integrify skill set.
Have an Integrify team member walk through your workflow with you; sometimes, a fresh set of eyes that don't work with the process daily can find ways to streamline your process further.
Marketing the world's best workflow automation software and drinking way too much coffee. Connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelraia/