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The crucial role of Process Management in Digital Transformation

More and more we find that customers relay the importance of process management in digitalisation projects. Whether it's referred to as Digitalisation, using Robotics, building Self-service, or simply implementing a new technology, organisations are automating more and more of their primary customer services.

Process management plays an important role. In this post we highlight four of the most important:

 

(1) Knowing the process

(2) Improvement prior to automation

(3) People involvement for continuous improvement

(4) The e-Learning handbook

 

1. Knowing the process

It is generally accepted that knowing your process is an important step before you start automating it. In more administrative companies (compared to factories for example), staff work in their own siloed departments and are often not aware what staff in other departments are doing for the same customer or citizen request. Using process management for exploring and mapping the process is crucial in getting to know how teams execute their work, and especially getting to know the relevant exceptions in the process. In administrative organisations the number of exceptions are often very high. These are important for any digitalisation project, as they should be explored and taken into account before initiating automation. 

 

2. Improvement prior to automation

In line with the first point, when exploring and mapping customer focused processes, it is wise to immediately look for improvement opportunities. Digital transformation or automation is often a method for improvement, but it's also a waste of effort and money if we automate parts of processes that could be avoided or don't add value to the customer. Processes have often grown organically in the past, but many times, teams neglect to revisit their processes to remove duplications and unnecessary steps. During exploration of their current processes to identify room for improvement, our customer, The City of Venlo, shared their finding that 80% of the steps in their "complaints" process were no longer value-added for the customer. This is a prime example of how process management helps to first explore and improve a process prior to any digitalisation effort. 

 

3. People involvement for continuous improvement

As with any change, it can be difficult to get things done perfectly the first time. For example, when processes are automated it is not always 100% smooth in the first run. In addition, new requests, ideas or even laws can appear shortly after the digital transformation process was finished. Having the operating staff involved in the complete process, the automated parts and the non-automated, or manual parts, is a base requirement for any agile organisation. They inherently understand the requirements and new ideas the quickest, and process management will help them to place these ideas in the context of the complete customer journey. Does this new idea only impact this process step or does it also impact other parts of the process?

 

4. The eLearning Handbook

When using process management for a digital transformation project, your organisation will end up having nicely documented process maps. These process maps can easily be used as the starting point for your handbook. The process map, displayed via the remote Engage Process viewer for example, can be an eLearning handbook. New and current employees can easily refer to and understand the process they are working in, and find the steps in which they are involved, along with all necessary details, instructions, hyperlinks to documents and systems. Experience has shown that when staff members can see and understand the complete process, they learn more effectively and can onboard faster than when they are only given task instructions. Like in a futbol team, the playbook allows them to see and understand the full game strategy and know what to do in their position. 

 

At Engage Process we see that digital transformation is no longer "just" a responsibility for the IT department. Process management helps to tackle IT challenges and goals across the organisation, enabling people driven change. 

 

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