Conor McGrath
February 22, 2022

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: FlowForma - Conor McGrath: Creating A Culture of Innovation Within Your Organization Through Digital Process Automation

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Creating A Culture of Innovation Within Your Organization Through Digital Process Automation

You may already be aware that digital process automation software empowers your workforce to digitize internal business processes. What are less obvious however, are the side benefits such as cultural change and grass roots process innovation. So how do you achieve an innovation culture from the bottom up?
Everyone Needs An Evangelist
Putting the tools into employee’s hands is not enough, they need to know how to use them and must be motivated by benefits that will come their way when the tools are used effectively.
Someone needs to take on the task of selling the concept of self-service digital process automation within the organization. Typically, that person needs to take the initiative and automate their first process quickly, measure the benefits, and then relay their experience within their internal network.
Having a digital process automation evangelist makes it easy to show colleagues how they did it and encourage them to do the same. For many, the thrill of building a system in a lunch break is a winner but not everyone will follow. Those that do will have a similar experience and can spread the idea further. Eventually, through repeated success, word-of-mouth communication and support from the evangelist, cultural change will be achieved across the organization so that self-service digital process automation becomes the norm.
Everyone Needs To See Rewards
The initial effort required to automate your first process must be low and the benefits must be obvious if cultural change is your goal. With a process automation solution, you can build solutions with minimal effort - in as little as an hour. This is very important when you want a businessperson to take time out of their busy schedule. Also, the solution must generate a reward in terms of efficiency (which can be measured through automated reporting) or by enhancing the experience of the participants in the process (generating desire to use the process, so that it’s less of a chore).
57024f4c-a091-4a92-a20a-50bcce1bde6b-images_you_would_like_include_in_the_article-Creating-A-Culture-of-Innovation-Within-Your-Organization-Through-Digital-Process-AutomationDigitizing a manual process generates at least a 50% improvement in efficiency, and the total benefit is linked to the number of times that process is executed within a time-frame. You should always see a benefit. The trick with cultural change is that it has to be obvious and achieved in a short term.
What About The Risks?
The best outcome of a successful digital process automation roll-out is that it encourages process creators to innovate. Employees at all levels can use digital process automation tools to create new, efficient, business processes or refine existing ones.
With any innovation there is risk during implementation. The process may appear to work well from a certain viewpoint, but a peer review is essential to control the risk before the process is actively used in the organization.
The solution is to use sand-boxed areas, where creators can play with processes to establish the best approach to achieving their business goals, with an additional step for peer review where controllers can assess the business risk before putting the new process into practice.
So, putting it all together:
1. Decide on a platform
a. Make sure you test it with the businesspeople who will configure your processes
b. It needs to have the breadth to tackle anything, not just workflow
2. Appoint an evangelist
3. Start small
4. Get results quickly and spread the word
5. Be prepared to grow quickly - with governance to control risks
6. Measure the rewards, to maintain executive support


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