2 vital tips to an effective digital transformation of your business workflows

Forbes recently produced a powerful article on how a business should look to overcome the

challenges of modernizing a business workflow.

We aim through this, and further articles aim to break down this into more manageable points, highlighting where opportunities exist and also where you should take extra care as the decisions made at some points may place you on another road or heading into a cul-de-sac.

In this article, you are going to learn that the modernisation process happens when you offer your teams certantity about the changes and the future of their daily work. Your teams are going to get the most out of the modernisation process because they are the ones who are going to handle the workflows. So the digital transformation of your business workflows doesn't have to be a secret for the company but rather be an open collaboration between teams.

This is the second article from this series where we discuss strategies to successfully modernize your workflows. If you didn't have a chance to read the first article, you can read it here.

Explain the ‘Why’ to the team

This part considers your employees and perhaps that they may have a resistance to change, or at least are wary around the motives, scale and reach of the project. RPA/DPA and other changes to workflow, behaviors and systems work best when the people carrying out the work are engaged, supportive of the changes and understand why the changes are being made.

The flip side is also true in that you may have some employees who may have been stifled by the current working practices and will embrace the change and perhaps bring key ideas and thoughts to your review. The key here is communication and engagement, as the Forbes article explains what you’re aiming to do, and why, allow them not only to feedback on the proposed path but also get their input and thoughts on the current workflow/system before you create the solution.

In the years that we have been performing audits, reviews and checks on workflow and systems, we have found that although the Manager tells you the process is A, B, C, the people performing the role will know minutely how it currently works, and sometimes they may have workarounds to solve a problem you didn’t know existed, or they have to do extra work to get an item correct before the process starts.

Common amongst these in digital printing is when a file is requested to be printed contains extra layers or pictures at the wrong resolution. We have seen Print Rooms simply correct the problem and allow the job to continue, whilst this is proactive of the Print Room, it would cause a problem with any solution you are preparing, does your new solution cater for this variance?

Even in the current workflow, a better solution would be to move up the chain to resolve the problem at the start, rather than take extra time fixing something which shouldn’t be there in the first place.

So early clear engagement of the team, get them to ratify the scenario you’re looking to upgrade, engage and make them part of the process, perhaps run early examples with them to gain initial feedback, make it their process, not managements.

Collaborate with Employees to Alleviate Pain Points

Whilst we have covered some of this in the previous sections, be aware that whilst you’re fixing your workflows; you’re directly affecting workflows before and after yours. This may be better titled, collaborate with all employees to alleviate pain points. Other teams and workers may have to change their workflows just because you have changed yours, so always consider your customers (internal and external) and suppliers (internal/external).

Imagine if your supplier currently sends you bags of sugar, and you look at your workflow to make the sugar into sugar cubes, you streamline it and make it more efficient and produce more sugar cubes of a uniform shape/size.

Did you consider that the supplier of the sugar may find a pain point in your workflow that they wished you could take pallets of sugar, as they currently must dispense the large sacks of sugar into smaller bags because you preferred the old solution?

Validate your assumptions and confirm your input/outputs, do the decisions you are making impact other departments and how so? For the better or worse? Whilst you may not be able to address everything and create a process that solves them, you need to collaborate with the other parties to ensure you’re not creating new pain points in the workflow.

We aim through further articles to break down how you can successfully modernize your business workflows into more manageable points. To see when we post the next article, follow us on LinkedIn.

Here at Skyline, we have worked on many projects, we use tools, systems, and data to help a client understand their current state and help them measure and apply the appropriate changes to help them to their desired goals. Our Swiss Army toolkit is also backup by real experience in many industry verticals.

Contact our team of specialists for more information about workflow modernisation in areas like document and print management, and find out how Skyline can help your business.

This is the second article from this series where we discuss strategies to successfully modernize your workflows. If you didn't have a chance to read the first article, you can read it here.