Automation: you’ve heard all about it, and as a twenty-first century company, you want to embrace it. But where to start? In this blog series, we will guide you through the process step by step. First things first: you need to discover the processes in your organization. We’ve put together a three-step to-do list for you!
1. Knowledge exchange
It’s important to sit down and ask yourself what you truly want to achieve with automation. Many decision-makers struggle with this question, because they are not the ones who encounter process-related issues on the work floor.
Therefore, you should organize a knowledge exchange meeting with key users on a regular basis – for example, every four to six weeks. These key users are employees who have been with the company for a while and who thoroughly understand the workings of the organization.
Not only will this allow you to obtain the required information on processes; it will also show employees how automation will help them improve their own processes and prevent problems elsewhere in the organization.
Another plus is that employees will not feel overlooked, which makes it easier to create support for change within the company.
2. Iterative improvement
There are always tedious or repetitive manual tasks that employees wish a computer could do. Additionally, a new product or service may require the implementation of a brand-new process. List all the points for improvement you can find and set completion deadlines for them, so you can move on to step 3.
Now that you’ve mapped out all processes that will benefit from automation, you need to prioritize some and postpone others. When determining the value of automation, consider two factors: urgency and difficulty. If automating a process would save you a tremendous amount of time, do it.
However, you should always give precedence to an easy-to-automate process. If changing it is simple and saves a little time, give priority to it over a highly time-saving, but very time-consuming process.
Keep in mind that you are trying to improve customer and/or employee satisfaction. If you can show people the pros of change instantly and approach this change step by step, they will adopt a more welcoming attitude towards it.
Want to step up your game? Listen to fresh voices!
Of course, you need to listen carefully to seasoned employees who know your organization from the inside out. However, you should also take fresh voices into account. New employees often provide a unique look at your processes. They are not stuck in old habits and may spot things that no one else has thought about. Acknowledge their value by allowing them to share their perspective.
Wondering about the next step? We will tell you all about it in part 2!