For CIOs and CTOs, learning all about the best practices for e-workflow lays the groundwork for implementing these systems. With the knowledge you have gained from our series, you can get to work creating and enacting a game plan. To do so, you need to determine your e-workflow goals and timeline, and what metrics you will use to measure success.
Setting e-Workflow Goals
To choose the right e-workflow system and software, it is important to determine exactly what you want e-workflow to do for your organization. By setting your e-workflow goals, you are laying the groundwork to ensure your game plan ultimately succeeds. One way to do this is to audit your existing workflow.
Look for the areas of your organizational workflow that are weak or inefficient. You can map out the entire workflow to find areas that need improvement, then analyze what is going wrong. For example, you might find you have a bottleneck that is ultimately due to redundant processes.
By analyzing these pain points you can then use a digital workflow to optimize the process. In redundant processes, a digital workflow goal could be to automate, ensuring information carries everywhere that needs it without requiring human action.
It can be helpful to focus on manual systems at first, especially if your organization is large or complex. Remember, you don’t need to digitally transform all at once. Starting with an obvious area that is less technically complex can be a great first step into e-workflow.
Other red flags to watch for include repetition, approval from or updating amongst multiple parties, high potential for human error, or challenges tracking and reporting. You can also talk to employees about their pain points. Staff can typically point to processes and workflows that feel redundant or burdensome, taking them away from more valuable work.
Use the prevailing rule: Keep It Simple (“KIS”). Ultimately, the only reason you have a workflow process is because the steps in the process are needed in order to arrive at a “result” or “decision” with the process. Many organizations find that the “result” or “decision” expected from their workflow process has become outdated or irrelevant over time. In these cases they can eliminate the entire process, and save many hours of needless work.
Creating a Timeline for e-Workflow Implementation
Auditing existing workflows and processes and setting your e-workflow goals is the first step in an e-workflow implementation timeline. Choose the area(s) of highest priority, and connect with the people involved in that workflow. What is needed for them to complete their associated tasks?
To prioritize, you might look at which processes are struggling the most. You could also consider which would bring about the most immediate results. Any time you can demonstrably save time or money, the buy-in for further transformation is that much simpler.
The next step is to identify the actual programs and systems you want to use to address the challenges you have identified. These solutions should suit the needs and responsibilities of the people managing the workflow. You should also engage these people in determining how their roles will change, ensuring adequate training.
Then, it’s time to implement the new e-workflow. Set your workflow metrics up. Once your e-workflow is in place, metrics will show your organization how well the change is working.
Measuring e-Workflow Metrics
Metrics are critical to understanding if a new practice or system is benefiting the business. Each one should be specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant. To properly compare previous workflows to new e-workflows, a baseline is important. When you identify the workflows you want to change, take a look at the factors that lead toward your goal with that change. If one department seems particularly slow, for example, you might note the average time it takes to complete a task.
Other workflow metrics include average process time, number of errors or complaints, percentage of late or overdue tasks, and volume of tasks per staff. You might look at the cost of employee time while dealing with repetitive or redundant tasks, or the cost of paper or other materials. Whatever metric you establish, the goal is to keep checking that metric as you switch over to e-workflow.
Some metrics are harder to measure in a numerical way, such as improving morale or retention after implementing e-workflow. This is where it is important to engage with staff and regularly seek their feedback. An employee who is happier doing their job is a valuable measure of success!
Getting Started with Your e-Workflow Game Plan
GroupLink knows the power of e-workflow, seeing transformations through our e-workflow and work from home solutions. Public schools, universities, government organizations, and for-profit businesses become more efficient, collaborative and accountable with our platforms. Check out everything HelpDesk and GroupLink Workflow Process and Incident Tracking online. To get started with our systems or find out more information, reach out using our online form or call 801-335-0700. You can also send our team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.