Every enterprise-level company is investing in business process improvement. (Or should be…) But how do you know which processes have the most cost savings potential? How do you track the outcomes of those investments?
For many organizations, it’s let’s try this, and then hope it works.
We are numbers people, we want more reliable data than hope. If you are like us, having the data to make informed decisions and calculate real ROI is essential.
But how do you get that data?
GENIE’s new Process Improvement Accelerator will take you through each step:
- Process Mining and Process Discovery – define your existing processes
- Standardization – discover variations in the way processes and tasks are being performed
- Digital Transformation – identity which processes are using out of date software, or methodology
- Optimization – choose the most efficient processes among your found variations
- Calculating Potential ROI – use time spent and wage data to calculate the value of each process and ROI of improving it
- Implementation – once the changes are in place GENIE will create an SOP of the new process for easy staff training
- Tracking – after the improvement is implemented tracking the resulting increase in profitability
Excited yet? So are we. Let us show you how we can get you started using GENIE.
Oh, you want to know more first! Yeah, we have that for you too, keep reading.
Dealing with ‘Dirty’ Processes
The need for solid process intelligence is the same, whether you are looking to standardize your processes as part of your automation journey or improve human processes.
Every task done in an organization requires rules to define the scope, quality, and method that should be followed. However, often these rules aren’t strictly followed. This reduces quality and introduces more possibility for human error.
Recently, GENIE completed a beta for a client who had no standardization across their processes. There was plenty of data. However, when data is flowing in from 40 different Excel sheets with 20 different process variations, it’s not hard to see why it can’t be automated. This is when processes are dirty.
Process Intelligence is a vital step in the automation journey that is easy to overlook when companies want to move quickly. The goal of automation initiatives is to create an ROI. The risk of automating the wrong process is tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of effort wasted.
“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.” – Bill Gates
Process Discovery and Process Improvement tools
Employing the right tools for Process Discovery and Process Improvement dramatically decreases this risk. Standardization and Optimization are necessary steps for getting processes ready for successful automation. GENIE’s Process Intelligence Platform takes this holistic approach. With our Improvement Accelerator, you will be able to see each significant variation of your processes, with the time and cost that each variant takes. Optimization takes place as you choose the most efficient path to have all your people, or your bots, take.
We believe it’s better to get it right the first time, than trying to automate something that simply isn’t ready to be automated.
“The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.” – Walt West
Process Variations and Human Error
Traditional RPA companies send consultants to manually monitor processes in order to get the company ready for automation. However, a consultant cannot watch every single person at work. They couldn’t possibly know how every person was carrying out a process in different ways. It is impossible to code a successful automation based on dozens of people performing tasks in their own alternative manner.
Visual Process Discovery – the method of taking screenshots of each tracked user then analyzing the screenshots, does a little better. But they still struggle to catch variations, and their images have to be hand-coded, again counting on human eyes to catch issues. The other major problem with this method of RPA is the size of the files they create. Tracking 20 employees over a few weeks creates terabytes of images that must be transferred and stored.
GENIE’s Process Intelligence AI tracks every relevant user action. We are reading the screens as work is being performed and tracking inputs on Excel sheets, PDFs, web forms, email, slack, you name it – we track it. Our filters allow us to filter out the noise of not essential actions, like the 10 minutes an employee spends on Facebook on their break. We are capturing each meaningful user action and compiling this data in an efficient format that can be stored on-site. So none of your company’s information leaves your secure network.
How to Clean Up Your Processes with GENIE
Our Process Improvement Accelerator dashboard will allow you to see each of the variations of the processes we discover. When HR and wage data are entered, we can calculate how much time and money each process costs. GENIE can also estimate the savings possible from standardizing that process.
GENIE’s Intelligent Process Discovery has the ability to track not just small groups of users, but also work teams and whole departments. We take a unique approach to interdepartmental processes. We combine Process Mining data taken from your software logs, with the user activity data collected in our Task Mining. In this way, processes that span across departments are tracked and slowdowns in the hand-offs can be measured.
You will also see where different departments or locations in your organization do the same process differently so that it can be addressed and standardized. Often interdepartmental processes are the ones that are the most valuable to a company and have the highest value for process improvement or automation potential.
The Benefits of Standardization
Having one clear way to do a process means that there’s less space for ambiguity or error. If you are using process improvement as a step in your automation journey, standardized processes produce better automations. Your bots can be automated correctly the first time and will break less.
The detailed task maps created by GENIE’s AI will allow you to see all the variations of a process company wide. It will show which path takes the least time, and which has the lowest cost. With this data, you can choose the best path to implement.
Exceptions aren’t a problem, per se, it’s just when there are too many different variations. For instance, a company may have offices at different locations where their processes are very similar but have a slight variation. When building an automation, it’s easy to add certain variables. (If x is present, then the automation must take this into account, etc.) However, there can’t be an exception for everything, or it just wouldn’t flow. So, if the processes are almost the same, the variable can be built in, and the automation will work. If they’re different in every single location, then the automation will stall.
For processes that will stay with your human workforce, our software can then generate an updated SOP making it easier to train staff. These documents also fulfill compliance requirements in many fields.
The Results of Process Improvements – Tracking and RIO
Now that you have your task maps and have chosen the optimal process (possibly including a variation or two), you can roll them out.
But we are not done there. How do you know if your staff has adopted the new process? How do you track the success of the Botz you have built?
We have you there too.
GENIE continues to track users as the improvements are rolled out and after. You will be able to see decreases in time spent and cost in real-time. This can be broken down by user, workgroup, or department.
Another application of this data is available in our Employee Enablement Accelerator. You can create SOPs and Compliance docs, get ready for annual reviews, and identify your star players from those who need more training. For even more on the HR potentials of GENIE, check out our blog on Employee Enablement.
Process Improvement is the cornerstone for iterative change and moving your company and your industry forward. We want to be there to support you in creating a successful improvement initiative.
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