Our eight-part series on e-workflow practices for CIOs and CTOs offers perspective and topography on how this digital transformation will benefit organizations. Technology and IT teams are the frontrunners when implementing this change using best practices, giving CIOs and CTOs a critical role. While each article offers insight into what e-workflow is, how it works, and how to do it, this summary is a quick reference guide.
Ultimately, every e-workflow system needs to follow best practices, for best results. Choosing the right approach, focusing on accountability, and ensuring your organization is following a good road map makes a difference. After all, if you’re going to make a change, it should be a good one!
Check out this quick summary of our article series, and for more information, read the full article for the topic of interest. We hope this series helps your organization down the path of e-workflow and all of its potential.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: What it is and What it is Not
At its simplest, e-workflow is a method of automating, controlling, and managing processes with technology. A standard workflow is a sequence of connected steps, and each step must be appropriately completed before moving onto the next. While many are repeatable and can be better automated, there are many organizations still manually handling every aspect of a workflow.
E-workflow takes these areas where processes are not operating efficiently, and uses technology to create positive change. Ultimately there should be a shift toward productivity, accountability, and simplification.
However, e-workflow is not a matter of simply digitizing existing processes. A redundant manual system can still be redundant even if it is digitized. The true goal is to improve workflow, not to automate or digitize just because you can.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: Assessing Strengths & Weaknesses
Every e-workflow approach comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. These real-life examples from both private enterprise and public education sectors show both.
Communication, collaborative leadership, support from superiors, and choosing one key e-workflow provider stood out as factors improving strength. The case studies also showed that a lot of the work in creating a successful e-workflow comes long before implementing the actual system.
Common weaknesses included the amount of time it takes to create change, and resistance to that change. Security can also be a challenge depending on the e-workflow system, showing how important it is to choose the right provider and approach. These examples also cautioned against falling into the paper-to-digital-to-paper trap, advising improving workflow over simply digitizing because one can.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: Finger-Pointing vs. Accountability
E-workflow improves accountability by documenting steps and ensuring each one is met. Systems can also include alerts and reminders, automated for each task. Analytics and data reporting also ensure accountability with clear, accurate metrics.
All of this accountability is part of the system, generating itself, so no finger-pointing is needed. A good e-workflow is designed with transparency, showing areas where greater accountability is needed.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: Overcoming Obstacles
Many of the weaknesses outlined in the third article in the series are the obstacles to overcome. CIOs and CTOs must overcome resistance to change, integrating e-workflow with current systems, and trying to implement too much at once. Tracking metrics is critical in understanding if all of this has been worthwhile, encouraging greater buy-in and support.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes
In most situations, digitally transforming an entire organization’s workflow will be too much all at once. Instead, as our examples show, it’s often the small steps that have a big impact, without taking on more than is realistic or reasonable. From a process redesign to a slow start, or a simple change with many added benefits, it’s okay (and recommended!) to begin with baby steps.
e-Workflow Best Practices for CIOs & CTOs: Game Plan
An e-workflow game plan brings all of this information together into an actionable road map. It all starts with setting goals for what CIOs and CTOs want out of e-workflow, based on a workflow audit. Through understanding what areas of an organizational workflow are not ideal, prioritizing areas for change is clear. This audit also shows why existing workflow is suboptimal, indicating where e-workflow needs to improve operations and processes.
This is the first step in an e-workflow timeline, followed by identifying the ideal software and systems to shift into e-workflow. The people impacted by the workflow should also be engaged, sharing information and ideas back and forth and ensuring training.
Implementation is next, and an area where e-workflow metrics are critical. The metrics associated with each process and task that will show if an e-workflow is successful. Instead of guessing, organizations can rely on these performance indicators.
GroupLink’s cloud-based e-workflow and work from home solutions ensure organizations and businesses can shift away from redundant, manual processes. We focus on efficiency, accountability and collaboration with everything HelpDesk and GroupLink Workflow Process and Incident Tracking. To learn more about our platforms, get in touch using our online form or at 801-335-0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.