Nothing good comes without a little blood, sweat, and tears. For a spectacular view, there’s a mountain to be climbed. To get to dessert, you have to eat your vegetables. In order to eat a Pringle, you have to either try to cram your hand into a can that’s too small or dump all the chips out.
There’s much to be gained from streamlining your business processes, but they won’t streamline themselves. A successful implementation requires good planning, communication, and strategy, but it’s worth it. Here’s three ways to make sure you avoid common pitfalls so your solution works as hard as it should:
1. Developing Good Practices Along with your Software:
If you only take away one thing from this blog post, take away this point. You can have all the cutting edge software in the world, but if employees are still trying to work with physical documents, it doesn’t matter. If your new, shiny solution is the butter, change is the bread. Slightly less tasty, maybe only there to transport butter into your mouth, but still a necessary part to your concoction. Eating just butter doesn’t work well as a snack or any meal, and trying to take process improvement steps with just some software and no real foundation will work just as well. In order to make your solution as effective as possible, back it up with a real change of habits, and work with your solution, not against it.
2. Getting management behind paperless practices:
According to AIIM President John Mancini, in response to a survey, only 35 percent of organizations said they had a policy in place specifically to enforce paperless business practices. Mancini also states that nearly half of organizations count “Lack of management initiatives or mandates” as a top inhibitor to using less paper. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder so many organizations struggle to achieve success when it comes to streamlining business processes.
In order for a paperless initiative to really take off, management needs to be engaged from start to finish, and new policies should be created that support your process improvement steps and keep your momentum going. Without that authority, it’s possible to implement a solution, but still use just as much paper for processes that are just as slow. If your solution is the butter, and change is the bread, management the hand that stuffs your mouth full of snacks.
3. Checking your approach to a paperless office:
I promise there will be no more bread and butter references, but warning – the next sentence may shatter all your dearest hopes and dreams. Your office will not be paperless any time soon. Until every organization has embraced paperless strategies and employees have become comfortable with viewing all their documents digitally, paper will remain an integral part of business. Instead, the paperless office is something to work towards, a little at a time. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed by the idea of a creating a whole “paperless office” to even begin to take process improvement steps, and don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all solution that won’t properly fit your needs. Start by transforming a single business process, or even part of a process, that’s particularly paper-intensive to drive efficiency in specific areas at a time, then build on those successes in other processes and departments.
Once you’ve got some wins under your belt, getting future projects approved will be easier, and by working incrementally, you can lay a foundation and find out what works in terms of new policies, communication methods, modes of implementation, and the like. By using solutions or modules specifically geared towards accomplishing your goals, you’ll be able to better solve those niche problems.
Done correctly, business process solutions are worth every ounce of effort you put into them, and at DataBank, we try to make the entire solution process as smooth as possible to minimize your blood, sweat, and tears and maximize your rewards. For more information on how we’ve helped other organizations benefit from improved business processes, check out our free case study below and learn how Discovery Benefits saw extraordinary growth with process improvements.