Before you begin to configure your software system it is recommended you understand the work flow process within your organization. A work flow process is a series of tasks or events. It’s the order in which they must be performed to reach a desired outcome. For example, does paperwork need to go to member services before it goes to accounting, or afterwards? Can members add credentials online or do they need to be verified first? The list of work flow processes can be never ending.
If your processes are written down, congratulations! Now you need to understand if they are being practiced. Is one person following them or all members of the team? Not every person responsible for completing the processes may do it in the same way. If functioning at an optimum level, it might not matter, but when looking to automate some functions with the introduction of software program, these steps need to be examined in detail.
Understanding what is currently working, what can be improved along with potentially eliminated is an important part of the process. Optimizing workflow is key to the success of any business. Superior workflow optimization gives a company a tremendous competitive advantage. The ability to execute using fewer resources while saving time has immediate impact on the bottom line.
If you do not have them written down it is time to gather the “right” people at the table and start to review and document your work flow processes. Who are the key people on your team? Who are the people that actually do the work? Make sure everyone has a voice. Top management might not know what the front line really needs to make their job flow better.
When talking about workflow and process design, three main issues to keep in mind:
- Ownership: Who owns the process?
- Understanding the results: What will happen if the work flow process is streamlined and implemented? Will people’s jobs be easier? Less complicated?.
- User involvement: Your clients and the person doing the work truly determine the success of the process. Make sure they are in alignment to ensure success.
Work flow process change is not an easy thing for people to accept. Understanding the why, being part of the set-up, and testing the software can really enhance the success of the project. With proper workflow system your organization can:
- Operate at an efficient work output: this doesn’t mean more work, it means work better.
- Know the status of assignments: if something is going wrong, you will find out very fast.
- Answering customer issues: provide better customer service to your members.
- Efficient management of resources: knowing what resources are needed and when helps your organization plan ahead.
- Convenience: processes can become predictable, and operate smoothly.
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