What are the 7 Steps of Process Automation?

08 Feb 2023

One of the main goals of business processes has always been the optimization of organizational processes, and Business Process Automation is essential to this.

Digital transformation relies heavily on process automation because it can boost operational efficiency and create new capacity. Therefore, it is not surprising that this topic is currently dominating marketing and corporate culture.

Business analysts and department heads must take care not to be duped by low-quality marketing gimmicks. After all, there are a wide variety of viable implementation scenarios for process automation.

As a result, you must precisely know when to use each automation strategy. Only then will automation genuinely produce the desired results.

This article will outline a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve your process automation solutions in the right way for enhanced business outcomes.

Seven Steps To Process Automation

Given below are the seven steps that will outline the exact use of process automation solutions:

1. Identifying Possibilities for Automation

Assess the automation potential of your process portfolio using criteria such as the types of processes or stated process parameters like complexity, frequency of execution, level of uniformity, etc.

Here, many businesses profit from already-existing, clearly understood process documentation.

The greater the level of detail in this documentation, the more effectively other factors, such as the systems involved, potential hazards, and dependencies or effects on upstream and downstream processes, can be taken into account when choosing the appropriate methods.

Over time, this can prove advantageous.

2. Process Analysis and Improvement

Take your time to carefully analyze the process(es) you've chosen before automating them, and fix any significant flaws immediately. If you automate a flawed process, it will still be flawed or inefficient after automation, and these flaws might even be accentuated.

Perform a preliminary cost-benefit comparison between the automated TO-BE and the existing AS-IS procedure using the simplified approach.

Doing a process simulation in this situation can be quite beneficial for figuring out prospective savings, comparing them to the price of the automation project, and calculating your ROI.

Multi-colored chart on a blackboard

3. Describe the Active Process

Create a workflow graph that shows the execution rationale for your optimized process. This graph is typically enhanced to add new tasks or events for execution after being removed from purely manual actions or decisions.

The technical details regarding the execution of each step should then be included, creating the final execution graph. Different improvements may be required in this situation depending on the automation platform you choose and the required system integration.

The process can help you determine the right automation requirements.

4. Make the Necessary Forms and Input Masks

The process of designing the form might begin simultaneously with the establishment of the executable process.

It is frequently advised to begin creating the forms early to quickly prototype changes to both the process graph and the forms. Also, the early production of the forms permits initial validations by the end users, which typically considerably enhances the quality and acceptance of the process.

5. Be Ready for the Launch

Ensure the technical clearances for the new process before or during the rollout phase. You should also make sure that all technical tasks necessary for successful change management and go-live have been completed.

6. Automate the Procedure

The new procedure is now accessible to the staff and is carried out with workflow support.

The choice that needs to be made right now is whether you want your automated process to be immediately accessible to everyone who will be impacted or whether you still want to productively "test" it initially on a lesser scale to gather some preliminary practical insights.

Magnifying glass with scrabble blocks spelling out the word Outcome

7. Follow the Outcomes

Keep an eye on the KPIs related to the project's objectives and cost-benefit analysis. Pay close attention to how well the newly automated process is being executed in its early stages, particularly how frequently ad hoc tasks are introduced, or alternate process paths are chosen.

These observations can be utilized to validate the process design, allowing for any necessary modifications. All monitoring data can be used as a starting point for future process enhancements.

In Closing 

In the upcoming years, process automation will undoubtedly continue to expand rapidly. The majority of companies still have automation levels in the low double-digit percent range.

As a decision-maker, you must know the many possibilities for process automation solutions and the appropriate strategy, together with the accompanying tools, to successfully meet the challenge.