Mapping Simple Workflows
One of the primary reasons our clients procure Laserfiche is to automate paper-based tasks. Some of our clients have CPS design and build all of their workflows. Others have us train them and then try out building workflows on their own. This article is for the latter group. First, look and see if the workflow you’d like to automate has been documented. If your existing processes are well documented, it’s relatively easy to transfer them into a digital environment using Laserfiche. However, many organizations have no, poor or inaccurate documentation, which makes creating digital workflows more complicated. The cardinal rule is before you design, build and implement any workflow, you have to understand the why’s behind the current process.
Three easy steps to create efficient digital workflows:
When forming a project team, bring stakeholders together to discuss the process in question: In order to develop effective paperless processes, it’s absolutely critical to talk to key users and stakeholders, rather than just their managers. What you often find is that managers think th
at the organization follows a certain process, but the day-to-day reality is totally different. It’s often helpful to set up a whiteboard session.
Start by emulating existing processes when mapping out your digital workflows: When you develop your plan to convert existing processes to a digital environment, avoid introducing drastic process changes initially. Whiteboarding will help you visualize your manual processes. Then–and only then–you can tweak them, but make sure that everyone involved has reviewed the suggested improvements. One exception: when you optimize and digitize a process, be sure to create documentation. That way if issues surface in testing, you can determine whether they are due to the Laserfiche implementation or the newly built process.
Once your initial Laserfiche workflow has been tested, I’m certain you’ll discover new opportunities to optimize it. Assess your workflows after the first testing phase and look for ways to eliminate unnecessary steps, redundancies, and enhance the processes. In addition, check-in with users after implementation. They may have suggestions for further workflow enhancements after they've used the system for a few months. And don’t be too proud to ask for opinions or suggestions, some of the best ideas come from the least likely sources. You’ll also find that you can reuse portions of your workflows to automate other processes. Document-based digital workflows in different departments often use the same components but may arrange them differently to meet the requirements of a process. For instance, onboarding a client is that different from onboarding staff. The workflow is still a grouping of documents, bound by the rules of the organizations, evolving through their lifecycle until their retention and/or disposition kicks in. Also, if you get stuck, check out Laserfiche’s Business Process Library.
If you’re ready to take advantage of digital workflows with an enterprise content management solution, take the first step and assess the state of your existing paper-based processes. Then give us a shout and we’ll show you how Laserfiche can help.