But how will you know if you chose the right way to perform your workflows?
Experiment. Perform some testing using your accounting department as the measure, and use your current non-optimized operations as the control case. Consistently evaluate, on a weekly, and/or monthly basis to see if this new workflow has created a more streamlined, affordable process. If not, test another workflow, and compare the results. Most often your own employees will tell you how relieved they are now that a new workflow was put in place; better workflows improve employee satisfaction, improving their productivity. Performing this review on a monthly basis is recommended as you can collect more data. If you choose to perform the reviews weekly, then you may incur more overhead in re-training, your employees may also be less productive. If you want to take a route that doesn't involve re-training employees, you can create test cases instead, based on the factors associated with each process, namely: time, cost and consistency of quality.
When going over these experiments, ask yourself “what is the fastest way to perform this process but retain the quality I have envisioned?”. Continue to come up with more evaluation cases until you find the answer to your question. Often companies outsource their operations as an option to optimize their workflows by handing off the rule-based work to larger, more affordable teams specializing in doing such processes.
Also, do some research about the various technologies that are out there to help you with your business processes. There are “light" automation services such as IFTTT
, that connect various web apps to one another. These tools can be really helpful at managing data if you actively use “apps” like Gmail, Evernote, Freshbooks, and a CRM software. However, software that does not have any integration with these types of apps, require a more “heavy" automation solution of the routine, rule-based tasks within your workflow. Paradigm offers both “light solutions” and “heavy solutions” to automate workflows.
Read more about automating workflows in this Article from Cloudwards here
Using automation services such as these has shown, through research, that workflows can be completed with near perfect information fidelity, while vastly improving the efficiency of the processes, for a very low cost per process(in comparison to offshore outsourcing).