Wasted time in the office/business space is a major source of concern for many managers and business leaders. Several have lamented on the elongated periods spent in meetings when just an email would have sufficed, or the bureaucracy involved before results are achieved. This article outlines ways to eliminate bottlenecks by automating business processes for higher company productivity.
- The first thing to do in automating your processes is to define and document your current processes. This is a systematic process where you critically go through each step of your process and outline them in a list or chart format. This can be done via a decomposition process so that all of the steps/tasks involved in your business process can be identified without missing any information.
- When you have concluded the process of identifying and documenting your entire steps and tasks, you proceed to analyze the processes and answer questions such as “Why do we run the system this way? What was the goal of the system when the processes were initially introduced? What would be the impact of reshuffling some steps or removing them entirely?
- Select what tasks you wish to automate. This is very crucial as you have to be careful to choose the right tasks; if the wrong tasks or processes are selected, it may end up complicating your entire process. Begin your automation from easy, less important repetitive tasks and increase as you build stability of your entire business process.
- Choose your automation system. The right technology system is as important as any in your automation process. It is important that the technology you adopt is adaptable for your business and use-able by your staff. Ensure that the transition is performed in a way that carries the members of your team along. The technology must also be accessible yet secure to prevent unwarranted access.
- Track your results and refine your processes — The mistake many companies make is to implement a new system and assume that it will work without any problem long term. The results of your process should be tracked to identify areas of adjustments that you may need to implement. This can be done by scheduling regular reports around the newly implemented automation processes and monitoring them over time to track your improvement.
Automation brings many advantages, reduced cost, reduced time, and improved productivity; however, it is important to carry out the process systematically.
How do you currently automate your business processes?
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