Moving from a paper system to a digital one? Workflow analysis will help you get the most out of your new technology. Here’s how: analysing workflow can give you a deeper knowledge of your business processes and how they interact. This helps you identify areas which can be streamlined, and highlight processes which can be automated – all of which feed into increased efficiency across your organisation. For anyone who is migrating to mobile applications, a workflow analysis is a key first step to consider. Here are three steps to completing an effective analysis:
The first step is to assess your business in its entirety. Start by studying each area of your business separately – make a record of the paper based data collection used in different parts of the company. Depending on the size of your business, you may have very different systems for cost planning and estimation, hiring subcontractors, document management, and site co-ordination, among others. Each of these processes needs to be understood separately before you can begin to look at integration or streamlining. Create a folder for every aspect of your operation, and make an exhaustive report on how things get done.
Now it’s time to use the information gathered in Step 1. Having a comprehensive list of the processes used across your business means you can study the ways in which these processes interact, identify areas where performance can be improved, and look out for work which could be automated or streamlined. At this stage you can begin to prioritise key focus points. Start by ranking your processes in order of importance. This will help you find the parts of your business where improved efficiency is more valuable – whether it’s managing health and safety audits, collecting customer data, or co-ordinating worksite project management. Every business is different, and every business will have different priorities. Identifying yours will help you deploy your new systems to their best effect.
By now you will have found a number of areas where change is required. This is where your change management skills will be invaluable: it’s important to take the time to implement revised procedures effectively, and support staff through the period of adjustment. Managing changes effectively will ensure that your new systems are robust. One of the best approaches for adoption of new technology is getting staff involved in the process, so get them involved in the set-up of the system and train key stakeholders to train other employees. Now you are ready to maximise the benefits of your mobile forms apps! The in-depth knowledge you have gained through workflow analysis, and the adjustments you have made in advance, will enable you use your new technology to its fullest advantage. For support in implementing your new paperless systems, or questions about how digital forms can improve your business, don't hesitate to contact us at FormTab.