What Is Business Process Automation (BPA)?
Business Process Automation is a tech-based process of automating activities run within your organization, with the aim of simplifying, reducing running costs, increasing efficiency, and improving service delivery, just to name a few benefits.
It involves a thorough or comprehensive study of how businesses operate, identifies areas that can be improved, and creates viable solutions that will transform the business in question.
The Elements of BPA
- Knowing The User – The kind of BPA you choose to adopt must capture the needs of the end-users. All the stakeholders must be comfortable and satisfied with the automated process. There is no point in adopting a method that will totally change the way things are done just because you want to automate. Rather, it should enhance and improve on the set methods in use.
- Planning – Creating a visual map or blueprint before automating is key. Document and write down the flow of the process in question so that at a glance, you will be able to pinpoint areas where automation would be more beneficial.
- Keep It Simple – The specific techniques, methods, and tools used to enhance the processes involved in automation should be kept to a minimum. Yes, it can be exciting when you start but don’t get carried away. Automate only processes that really take well to it.
- Documentation – In the beginning, you will have everything running smoothly and have no issues. But sooner or later, when you run into problems, you will need to troubleshoot, and if you have been documenting with notes and logs, then it becomes easier to address problems in detail as needed.
- Testing – Before you actually start using or running your automation, you should have it tested in real-time. This will give you the opportunity to detect any bugs or missed steps and put them in order before you begin fully.
- Training – Getting the users trained is a must. One good way to do this is to use the “Train the trainer” approach. What is required here is to train the team leader and allow them to pass on what they learn to other team members. This leaves everyone involved well-grounded in its usage and they can also refer to team leaders for guidance when challenges arise.
These six elements are key to the performance of your BPA, but there’s more. There are certain principles that should also be adopted which we’ll look at in the next section.
7 Notable Principles of BPA
Developing a good Business Process automation is based on certain principles, which will ensure that you have a well-laid out blueprint suitable for your business.
1: Training Of Developers
If you plan to outsource the development of your automation software to developers, you need to ensure that the developers understand the different tasks that need to be automated within your organization. This will help them develop the right codes and scripts to capture the processes.
2: Develop A List Of Tasks
Ensure that you make a list of all the tasks that need to be automated. This will help you capture sensitive steps required to develop proper automated processes. Doing this will not only cut down on errors associated with humans but also enhance your progress.
3: Keep It Simple
If something sounds difficult, then it probably is. Do not over-complicate your processes in a bid to automate them. Break down the tasks into manageable bits to make it easier to automate. Analyze your existing process and redesign complex parts to accommodate automation.
4: Be Consistent
It is important to maintain consistency. You cannot start automation and then stop halfway. You need to use the automation process setup regularly and maintain the same procedure.
5: Proper Integration
BPA needs to blend in nicely with the entire system within your organization, especially when it comes to integration via APIs. You can integrate your automation at different levels of the process, as long as you maintain the desired output.
As you automate you should carry your staff or team members along by providing the necessary training required to help them transition into the new process. This can be arranged prior to the automation process to streamline moving to a new way of getting things done.
7: Keep Evolving
Setting up your BPA process is not a one-time thing. As your business grows and evolves, you’ll need to revisit existing processes to improve efficiency and maintain a healthy competitive edge. This means that your BPA process should be able to accommodate these new changes in your business.
Following through with these principles will ensure that you stay on track.