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Tuesday, 12 October 2021 23:40

The importance of effective business processes in a hybrid-working world

By Christian Lucarelli, Nintex
Christian Lucarelli, Vice President of Sales Asia Pacific for Nintex Christian Lucarelli, Vice President of Sales Asia Pacific for Nintex

GUEST OPINION by Christian Lucarelli, Vice President of Sales Asia Pacific for Nintex: With a high proportion of staff likely to remain in work-from-home mode for an extended period, many Australian organisations are realising their business processes are no longer delivering the goods.

Workflows that have supported operations for years must now be redesigned and reengineered. Manual and paper processes are crying out to be digitised to ensure they continue to function effectively, despite the rapidly changing business environment.

The processes that need to be managed and transformed are many and varied. They could include everything from the way in which customer orders are processed and fulfilled, to how staff leave requests are approved and expense claims paid.

When an organisation needs to improve the way its processes are managed, focus on process mapping, process automation, and process analysis.

Process mapping

This initial step in process transformation is the foundation on which later activity will be built. It involves mapping out the processes that exist within each department and allows a clear picture to be built of just how the organisation functions.

The result will be an accurate process map that ensures everyone involved in it has a full understanding of all steps. It also serves to make processes more transparent and allows staff to focus on the end goal rather than just the individual steps involved.

If process mapping software is used during this step, it will allow staff to see where individual processes are working, where there might be bottlenecks and issues, and suggest improvements to overcome these hurdles. This, in turn, helps when those staff are drawing up reports and determining how required changes are going to be implemented.

Knowing exactly where there is room for improvement can help an organisation increase its overall performance, reduce operational costs, and boost staff productivity.

Process automation

The goal of this second step is to remove what traditionally have been repetitive, manual tasks carried out by staff. These tasks are automated through the deployment of carefully selected software platforms that can often complete them faster and more accurately.

This automation software, which sometimes incorporates digital robots known as “bots”, is now more accessible than ever before. This means it can be put to work within organisations of all sizes and deployed quickly to meet business demands.

By using process automation software to streamline the way its departments work, a business can reduce the amount of time that staff spend undertaking less valuable work. This then means they are freed up to focus their time and energy on tasks that add much more value.

Employee satisfaction will also rise. When staff are able to concentrate on more meaningful work, they feel their contribution is more substantial. This level of accountability can often mean that employees also feel compelled to work harder and add more value, thereby ensuring a positive and productive environment.

Seeking out processes that lend themselves to automation is a great way to achieve significant business benefits from a transformation initiative. It can lead to much more effective deployment of staffing resources and a big uplift in productivity.

Process analysis

Once the new processes are in place, the third step is to ensure they are actually working as planned. By analysing them in a number of different ways, an organisation will be best placed to make any changes that might be required. If process management software is in place, this will deliver analytics data that will show where processes are working and which, if any, require further attention.

One of the best indicators of whether a particular process is working effectively is the way in which staff react to it. They are most familiar with how processes are executed and are perfectly positioned to identify whether there are any problems and may even offer ideas on how to find a solution.

It can also be worthwhile to seek feedback from customers to get a clear perspective on how well they think processes are working. If a customer has had to wait hours for a call back or didn’t receive their ordered goods, process problems clearly still exist. 

Effective process management has always been important, but in this new hybrid working world getting them to function efficiently and effectively is even more critical. Taking steps to improve processes now will deliver big business benefits in the future.


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