Achieving End-To-End Process Automation: A How-To Guide
Step-by-Step Guide for Process Automation
Discover the key elements of process management and how to use automation so it can be the best vehicle for success in this all-new
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Achieving End-To-End Process Automation: A How-To Guide
While early adopters of robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent process automation (IPA, or sometimes just simply IA) have seen some modest returns on investment, the speed at which the technologies entered the market created a somewhat disorganized and haphazard approach to implementation.
Businesses have implemented siloed, disparate process automations that deliver modest gains in efficiencies but little to no scalability. Worse still, they can’t integrate technologies because they’re not designed to work together.
Today’s business leaders need an integrative solution that not only delivers the comprehensive tools they need to create automations, but also the thoughtful integrations that will allow it to be scaled, and used as part of a wider enterprise strategy for digital transformation.
EZFlow, EPSoft's intelligent automation platform, was created to meet this challenge head-on, delivering a complete solution for improving business processes with intelligent automation. EZFlow was also natively built to easily integrate with other RPA technologies, offering today’s business leaders a first-of-its-kind universal platform for end-to-end business process management.
Understanding the Process Landscape
To gain real value from intelligent automation, it’s a good idea to understand the totality of your business processes. This will give you a holistic view of your entire organization, creating transparency and helping you track value outcomes in an organized way.
How Does It Work?
To best understand your process landscape, leverage the power of value chain mapping, a high-level visual map of the business process that helps users understand and study it. This will show you how processes exist currently, allow you to model how you want them to be, and easily highlight the differences, showing you where changes should be made.
You can set up the process hierarchy in one of two ways: top down or bottom up.
The approach you choose (top down or bottom up) should be based on your organization’s process maturity. Those that have well documented processes can easily set them all up as a top-down hierarchical approach. Those with little to no existing process engagement can identify the setup and value chain one process at a time, and eventually connect their processes towards business value.
- Identify core, support and management process groups
- Identify process areas within the process group
- Further drill down to individual process
- Go one step further to get the sub process listed
- Identify individual tasks and tag it to a process
- Identify the parent process in which it will fit in
- Identify area where the processes can be grouped
- At the last step, identify core, support and management process groups that deliver business value.
From here, you’ll need to complete role identifications. These can include enterprise roles, architects, analysts and developers.
EZFlow, EPSoft’s intelligent automation platform, is specifically designed for multiple personas, featuring thoughtfully integrated features that streamline coordination among stakeholders and drive efficient collaboration. As a result, your IA efforts intrinsically deliver transparency, uphold governance, and create a precedence for knowledge sharing—critical factors to successful IA implementation.
- Improved Document Management
- Collaborative Knowledge Sharing
- Customized Persona-based View
- Easily Controlled Change Management
- Supports Creation of Center of Excellence
Process Mining: Digging Deep for Business Value
With a full understanding of your business process landscape and the roles played within it, you can take your findings even deeper with process mining.
EZFlow’s Process Intelligence tool leverages process mining to identify both problems and opportunities. These might include bottlenecks, compliance concerns, inefficient workflows and more. With the Process Intelligence tool, you can analyze your process as it exists, allowing for data-driven decisions around what parts of your processes to automate. Ultimately, this delivers faster results than traditional process mapping and documentation and speeds up your process improvement initiatives.
Automated Process Discovery
EZFlow does the heavy lifting for the discovery process, laying the groundwork data-driven decision making for process improvement.
Automatically scan workflows for compliance across multiple users, workflows and departments.
Scope for Process Enhancements
EZFlow will identify key areas for improvement for you, illuminating the most efficient paths forward.
Minimize waste by spotting the source within your workflows, and correcting the issue to stop the loss.
Easily see where the workflow slows and stops, and redesign the flow of work for better efficiency.
Business Process Studio: Design and Redesign
Thanks to Process Intelligence, you should now have complete analytics of your as-is process, and an intimate understanding of the current challenges and opportunities.
During this next phase, improve your business process by creating (and in some cases recreating) workflows that improve efficiencies through various changes.
One of the most effective ways to do this is with business process management (BPM), an approach to modeling, analysis and improvement of your business processes that leverages process automation.
Business process modeling and notation (BPMN) takes this idea a step further, providing a visual representation of specified business processes within a business process model. This visualization allows you to easily see processes as they exist, providing critical clarity and details.
And at the top of the technology chain, we see intelligent business process management suites, or iBPMS. These platforms support the full cycle of the business process with easy-to-use tools and low-code solutions for workflow management, hybrid workforce orchestration, decision management and more.
With EZFlow by EPSoft, you gain all this and more. EZFlow supports end-to-end business process management and intelligent automation with a single, easy-to-use platform that features a suite of low-code BPM tools. But more than this, it also allows for seamless integration with other systems, tools, and automations—including existing RPA initiatives—helping you eliminate technical debt and get better efficiency and returns from all of your technology investments.
Using the BPM tools in the EZFlow platform, your visualizations lead the way. From here, the designed process can be completed using thorough analysis and smart tools that help you make better decisions. Once designed, it’s time to start automating.
Automation Engine: Setting Up Your Automations
With your discovery process outlining what needs to happen, and your visually designed workflows helping you decide how, it’s now time to set your automations to go live.
EZFlow kickstarts this process for you, back in the Business Process Studio. When you determine which tasks are for your human workforce and which will be performed by automations, the Business Process Studio will automatically begin to pre-configure this for you in the Automation Engine.
During this phase, you will identify key automation steps and create hybrid workflows, comprising both human and digital workers. You decide which tasks within any given workflow will be completed by people and which will be completed by automation, providing a single-pane view of every task of every process—along with a solid understanding of how they will work in context of each other.
During this stage, you should also begin to set goals and targets for measurement for ROI, helping you gauge the success of your implementation.
Lastly, change control will be critical to this phase. Have a comprehensive plan in place to see it is executed alongside your automation initiatives.
The Control Center: Manage and Orchestrate the Business Process
The key to success in process automation is not necessarily the technology you choose to use (although it is an obvious driver), but rather, how you orchestrate the technologies to work with each other and with the people they support.
This orchestration must take into account both the dynamics of the task itself, and the broader implications that task will have on the process, using business process management to continually optimize your workflows from start to finish.
As you look for providers and platforms, it’s critical to choose those that have native features to support orchestration and integrations. Within EZFlow, the Control Center is where all of this happens, providing easy-to-use tools and single-pane visibility that helps you centrally orchestrate and govern all the moving parts.
- Configure execution sequencing
- Capture logs
- Control executions
- Synchronous and asynchronous execution
- Hybrid workflow orchestration
The Not-So-Final Frontier: Continual Optimization
It’s important to understand that, while the journey we just described can happen in this order, these phases are not necessarily linear. And that’s because the “last” stage is anything but the end.
Optimization is about continuous process improvement (CPI). So while you may improve a process to its absolute top performance, the idea is not to reach an endpoint, but rather to parlay these efficiencies into more automations, giving you a compound effect of sorts on your ROI.
Specifically designed with integrative features and a single-pane view, EZFlow offers you a full-scope view of every business process, making ongoing improvement and optimization easy and effective.
Process Automation Monitoring and Reporting
This phase will also see various reporting and monitoring mechanisms put into place. With EZFlow’s dynamic dashboards, you gain customizable views among different stakeholders, along with historical change logs for checks and balances. This makes it easier to run automations, knowing you’re constantly monitoring performance in a way that identifies problems before they happen and streamlines decisions with data.
During this phase, you can easily set up these custom dashboards within EZFlow. Designate process alerts for specific users or groups, optimize automations with environmental management, improve IT with incident management, and more.
Round and Round We Go: A Smart Feedback Loop
With automations running, data flowing and the improvements steadily coming in, it’s time to kick it back into the loop. Because you started with process mining discovery, you should have plenty of documentation to do a comprehensive before-and-after comparison of your workflows. With EZFlow, this happens automatically, sending collected data back into process intelligence for further mining. This creates a continual cycle for success, and the best opportunity to get the most out of intelligent automation.
Revisit process mining to start a new process, or to find new ways to improve an already-automated process. Regardless of where you are in the journey, the best platform partners will meet you there.
Tips for Accelerating Digital Transformation With Process Automation
- Apply Process Mining techniques to identify the best processes to automate
- Focus on processes that will deliver high value to the business
- Leverage dynamic dashboards that convey insights (not just information)
- Look for a unified solution that will simplify process automation for the business user
- Focus on point automations (task level automation)
- Automate any process that is non value-adding
- Use multiple systems for operational intelligence
- Rely on dashboards that only share information without analysis
Getting Started with End-to-End Process Automation
Whether you’ve already begun some task automations and you’re looking for more value, or you’re ready to get process automation underway for the first time, our talented team at EPSoft can help.
Schedule a free consultation, or arrange a free live demo of EZFlow, EPSoft’s Intelligent Automation Platform. Let’s start the conversation today and see what automation looks like for your company.
Are you ready to explore the tools, integrations and scaling opportunities that
come with integrative Process Automation solutions?
Let’s begin with a conversation. No matter where you are in your automation journey, we’ll meet you there.