5 ways streamlined processes can optimize tech investment
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
This quote from Bill Gates reminds us that organizations with inefficient processes are unlikely to be successful. When processes are poorly managed and teams aren’t kept on the same page, it becomes almost impossible to drive your entire business in the same direction, and at pace.
Disengaged teams and failed projects that never quite make it out of the gates can become the order of the day, costing your organization time, money, and people buy-in – a critical component required to keep forging ahead within a constantly-shifting business landscape.
Many businesses can vouch for the fact that inadequate business processes also contribute significantly to problems with implementing costly technology investments like CRMs, collaborative platforms, quoting software and the like.
5 ways process management can optimize your tech investment
These five steps can help you leverage business process management to successfully implement your technology systems:
- Get the organization’s leadership team involved. If departmental managers aren’t aligned, your initiative will lack clear leadership — and this can lead to a lack of buy-in for the project, friction between divisions, and gaps in the system. A strong executive presence that’s made up of the leaders from key business divisions is critical to a successful system implementation. The use of a process management tool gives leaders a top-level view so they can accurately map out the best way to implement the platform. In addition, capturing and managing processes in one central location means all processes can easily be accessed and referred to during times of change, like mergers and acquisitions.
- Align the system to the organization’s strategy. The outcomes you want your suite of systems to deliver be related to your organization’s long-term goals. For example, it’s imperative to design your CRM system to reflect what you want to achieve with it. If the CRM has to measure customer points of contact, the system should be set up accordingly. Similarly, if the CRM is intended to streamline the customer experience, it has to provide as few steps as possible to solve customers’ problems — and those steps have to be very clear. The same applies to systems that aim to generate quotes efficiently, provide teams with a platform to collaborate and communicate easily or manage contacts and track sales.
- Be aware of the process architecture. Many organizations rely on a range of different, interconnected business processes. This process architecture must be studied and understood before designing and implementing systems that will impact them. Where systems are designed to support the process architecture, teams will be more likely to accept the change and adopt the new platform. To define the process architecture, it’s helpful to conduct a whiteboard session to discuss individual processes, determine how they depend on another, define the key measures to showcase what success looks like for each process, and understand what the outcomes must be for each business team.
- Be inclusive of multiple skills. When establishing an implementation team, involve various roles from across the organization.To avoid systems being set up from a particular team’s perspective, create a project group that consists of people from across the business. The objective is to include people who can represent the various points of view reflective of different divisions to equally represent different business aspects — whether they’re ease of implementation, efficiency or successful adoption.
- Align system processes to support business processes. Procedures related to newly-implemented systems should support the day-to-day activities and tasks that people complete. For a system implementation to be successful, it’s imperative to first map and capture efficient, focused business processes that relate to the system. That’s why, before designing a system, it makes sense to review all the relevant business processes to ensure they’re effective and efficient. As you capture your processes, you may uncover processes that are inefficient or redundant, creating the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments before embarking on any system implementation.
With relevant, streamlined business processes and the five steps above, you can achieve a successful system implementation that will benefit your organization — and your customers — for years to come.