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Blog | Jan 30, 2024

How To Automate a Manual Process

How To Automate a Manual Process
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Before you can achieve total digital transformation, start small with your automation. Find a simple task, and once you’ve optimized that process, you can scale with an end-to-end workflow automation software. As your digital process automation program matures in your business, you can look at more automation use cases to guide you to further efficiencies.

But first, what is automation software? It can include several digital technologies. Namely, intelligent automation (IA). IA combines the task-automating capabilities of robotic process automation (RPA) with the cognitive thinking of artificial intelligence (AI) and the process orchestration of business process management (BPM). Low- or no-code automation software will help your non-tech business users streamline business processes faster, and through the power of a digital workforce.

6 Steps for Automating Manual Processes

Manual processes can be tedious, time-consuming and error-prone. In this guide, we’ll look at six steps to implementing business process automation. This will help you reduce errors, improve employee satisfaction and boost customer experience.

1. Define what you want to achieve

Outline a strategy for what business goals you want to achieve with your automation. This will give you some direction for implementing automations and help better scale your digital workforce as you learn and grow. It will also help you prioritize where to put your attention first. Most organizations start with the “low-hanging fruit”, meaning those areas in the business where you can easily introduce automation. These tend to be simple, often repetitive tasks.

Automation goals you might have could include:

  • Reduce human errors.
  • Free up human resources for higher-value activities.
  • Cut labor costs.
  • Improve customer service.
  • Increase operational efficiency.

2. Pick the process you want to automate

Audit your current workflows to identify inefficiencies and which will most benefit from automated workflows. If you’re having difficulties choosing the best process to automate, look at automation tools such as task mining and process mining. Task mining monitors the granular details of every click in completing a process, while process mining monitors how a process is done end-to-end and identifies any bottlenecks. You can also create a process map in this stage to illustrate each step in your workflow. These tools may help you define where your optimization efforts should be adopted first. This focused effort can also empower your organization to achieve your desired return on investment (ROI).

Typically, the types of processes you want to automate will be:

  • High-volume
  • Repetitive
  • Time-consuming
  • Structured
  • Prone to error

3. Establish best practices

Once you know which processes you want to automate, you need to figure out what tools to use. To keep your initiative focused, it may be useful to follow a guide. You can either create an operating model yourself or reference one such as the SS&C | Blue Prism® Robotic Operating Model™ (ROM2) for an IA implementation methodology. This will help you launch, maintain and scale your digital workforce.

Best IA practices might include plans for:

  • Compliance and regulation
  • Data security
  • Resource and people allocation
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Quality control
  • Process stability
  • Scalability

4. Get everyone on board

Implement a change management strategy. Get your teams comfortable with automation through training and educational initiatives. Set roles and responsibilities for your people. You can also include people from across the organization to create a Center of Excellence (CoE) team dedicated to ensuring your automation project aligns with your business goals and maintains governance and compliance. They will also help you find other places within the business that could benefit from automation.

Change management strategies might also include:

  • Creating a business case.
  • Developing a vision and mission statement.
  • Conducting a change impact analysis.
  • Assessing your business readiness.
  • Crowdsourcing ideas and solutions from across the business.

5. Develop and deploy your automation

Once you have the required infrastructure and planning in place, it’s time to launch your digital workers! The purpose of starting small with “easy wins” is to ensure they’re effective before you scale automation across your entire enterprise. Closely monitor your automations, especially early on, so you can catch any shortfalls right away and amend them.

Some automation tools to look out for may include:

  • An enterprise automation software for deploying your digital workforce.
  1. SS&C | Blue Prism® Enterprise
  • Low- or no-code automation development for non-tech business users.
  1. SS&C | Blue Prism® UX Builder.
  2. SS&C | Blue Prism® Interact
  • Orchestration software to connect people, processes and digital workers.
  1. SS&C | Blue Prism® Chorus BPM
  1. SS&C | Blue Prism® Decipher IDP
  2. SS&C | Blue Prism® Document Automation
  • Cloud or hybrid software for delivering agile IA capabilities in a cloud environment.
  1. SS&C | Blue Prism® Cloud
  2. SS&C | Blue Prism® Next Generation

6. Monitor and optimize continuously

Watch how your automated process improves and continue to tweak and optimize as it runs. Here’s where you can also monitor whether you meet your predefined goals. Transparency is huge for these first stages of your automation journey to help you improve and learn as you go. BPM tools are ideal for monitoring these changes.

Break New Ground with Automation

This is just the beginning of your automation journey. It’s a continual evolution of discovering new and innovative solutions to make your business processes better. The key to automation success is strategy; so long as you have a purpose and a plan, your IA program is destined to break new ground.

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