Us: “Let us help you in building a workflow solution that will optimize 80% of the process.

You: “Huh?”

It’s really just an opinion, but it’s based on a lot of experience in helping customers automate and optimize critical business processes. Digital transformation is scary and exciting all at the same time. The idea that processes and critical business functions can be facilitated more efficiently through the use of technology Is the exciting part. The scary part, is investing in the technology that promises better results.

We have all heard about huge software implementations that have failed. These solutions were aimed at critical business processes that needed to be more efficient, more predictable, and easier to manage. In some cases, the technology simply failed to deliver the results. There are a myriad of reasons why business process transformation projects fail. These reasons range from challenges in the development process, limitations of the software solution and end user adoption, just to name a few.

We’ve also encountered customers that have had great success in leveraging technology and bringing significant improvement to legacy processes though the implementation of new technology. Best in class organizations do a good job of clearly articulating requirements, understanding the capabilities of the technology, and have buy-in across the enterprise. Again, these are just a few reasons why workflow automation/optimization projects succeed.

But hear me out, there is something else that can be done to help ensure digital transformation and success.

End to end business transformation begins with an idea that a process can be improved through the implementation of technology. The goal is to drive out all known inefficiencies from your business process and automate and optimize when possible. This is ambitious when your process is heavy with “one-offs” and exceptions. 

In our work with clients that are looking to improve processes, we share our recommendations and apply the 80/20 rule. We try to focus on leveraging technology to address 80% of the process… and look to address the non-standard exceptions and one-offs outside of the solution.

There are several reasons that this recommendation is the right recommendation for most of our clients.

Development Time and Cost:

The time required to customize a solution to address all of the non-standard exceptions and one-offs would drive up costs and the increase the time required to build the solution. Typically, an organization that is looking to automate a process or transform a process is looking do so quickly, so building a solution that can handle 80% of the work gets most clients to a good place.

Scalability:

Generally speaking, solutions that we build are customizable and can be scaled as needs change or evolve. We suggest deploying a solution, evaluating, and measuring results, and scaling the solution accordingly. It is not uncommon for processes to be adapted or for the solution to be re-imagined when exceptions become more common.

Complexity:

A solution that tries to address every possible scenario will likely become more complicated and in some cases, unusable. Too many drop-down menus, interfaces with unfamiliar references, and a solution design that feels overengineered leads to confusion and a solution that loses favor with users.

Just something to think about and consider when scoping out your next digital transformation project. Contact Kiefer Consulting to learn more about business process transformation and automationg and optimizing business processes using Microsoft’s Power Platform.

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