After deciding that document automation will become part of your workflow, the next step is thinking through how you might go about implementing this powerful technology. You can jump to these topics clicking the boxes below.
Define: Define a process that needs improvement. Define the scope and objectives of the system or process that needs improvement, really specify what creates value from the client's perspective.
The scope of a process improvement project must be very specific. “We want to make the process better,” is not good enough.
Measure: Measure your current processes and assess the current states. Identify all the steps across the entire value stream for the particular process. It may be necessary to chart it out, using a program, a wall chart or pen and paper.
Break the process up into logical sub processes. For example, a divorce from start to finish is far to broad, but the filing process is a management sub process.
Draw a flowchart of all actions and inputs ending with a filed complaint at the court. Consider these questions:
Gather all data regarding your process and map it out.
Once all of the data is gathered, and a team is in place to work on it – it’s time to put together a map.
A map can be done via software, as a list, as a flowchart, a white board, or even stickies on the wall. All members of the team should be present so that they can share their input or see things from a different perspective.
The map should include the answers to the questions above, specifically, who
Sometimes when putting together a map, there are obvious places that you can eliminate waste (See DOWNTIME below). Other issues flush out as the mapping and analysis phase continues.
Analyze: Analyze the measurements and understand what they mean. Analyze the process, quickly eliminating any easy wasteful steps. Review input and output data, such as costs, time to process, number of touches, etc. Note the flow of work and where the bottlenecks are that can be eliminated or improved.
Here are things to evaluate as you analyze the current state:
Tools that you may need to add into the equation:
Improve: Improve the process with a future state scenario. Now, improve the process by creating a future state workflow that adds value and eliminates waste. Work on a “just-in-time” basis pulling into the workflow only the work that adds value to the client.
With all of this information, it’s time to develop the future state by defining the gap between the current process and the desired performance.
Control: Control the process by ongoing measurement and continuing the cycle of continuous improvement. Implement and manage the new process. Measure the success it brings and modify it as necessary as the data shows. Your goal is to strive for perfection by continually removing waste and improving the process.
Once the new process is outlines, plan the implementation. Watch it and make sure it is working. If the new process is not perfect, send it back through the process and keep refining it. As the business changes and grows, so shall the process. The more repeatable it is the easier it will be to adapt to change.
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