When we automate a business process, the process flow itself becomes a software requirement. With it, other requirements can make up the solution, like services that will integrate the process with the information systems involved, screens specially developed to support the process in functionalities of maintenance and zoetalentsolutions do not exist in the current systems, supporting data structures, among others.
Deploying an automated process involves traditional aspects of system deployment, but some are definitive for deployment success. There are more maintenance planning training and maintenance planning courses were available nowadays.
In our projects, we identified four factors that define the success of the deployment:
Deploying an automated process makes a big impact on how it is run by the participants, forcing people to change their behaviour pattern.
Not only when a process that was manual and managed on paper or spreadsheets and now has its information and steps executed through the system (which in itself is already a major change) but especially considering that with an automated process, the participants pass to have their tasks controlled by the system.
It is another way of doing the job, when it is no longer "pulled", but rather "pushed" - the process engine identifies when a process task has been completed and already makes the next task available on the list of the next involved, "pushing "The process going forward.
Because the organization is composed of people, it is natural that the behaviour of the participants is a critical factor to be managed in the implementation of a new process.
Thus, managing the change in the implementation of an automated process is very important (or even essential!) According to the degree of resistance of the participants to the new way of working.
If the degree of resistance is too great, actions should be planned and executed throughout the entire process automation project. If the degree of resistance is lower, the actions can begin to be executed during the homologation of the solution.
The implementation of an automated process needs to be studied to define how production can be carried out. The management of the project responsible for the implementation may adopt a gradual or total strategy.
The incremental strategy determines an incremental deployment schedule.
Some approaches to schedule definition can be gradually deployed across areas of the organization (eg starting with those areas that are least resistant to change, then moving to the other areas), or by types of process (for example, in a process travel requisites, starting only for domestic travel and when it is already mature, include use for international travel).
This deployment strategy can be recommended when there is a lot of resistance to using the system. It makes it possible to guarantee success in the deployments among the groups that participated in the first deployments to generate positive publicity for the solution to the rest of the organization, winning the interest of the other participants.
It is a more conservative approach but allows any problems to be corrected in the course of the deployment, generating less impact on the credibility of the system.
Already the total strategy determines a milestone of replacement of the current process by the new automated process.
This approach requires more planning, especially if there are dependencies or integrations with other systems. When there are dependencies or integrations with other systems, the total approach may be the only alternative, since the systems involved may prevent two different forms of work.
For some business processes, this may also be the only strategy possible.
In the overall approach, good user training planning, support and support teams are critical, and senior management support is a key factor in the success of adopting the new process.
It is a more risky approach, but if successful, shortens the implementation deadline and improvements can be realized in the short term.
In the implementation of processes, it is important to provide a group of people who, in the first time of use of the new system, will be the support to the users.
This team has the following responsibilities: to clarify doubts and support users in the utilization of the functionalities developed for the automated process, to identify any defects or problems of the process and to refer to the support and even to validate corrections for the defects reported before the input of the solution in production.
The good preparation of the support team goes through training, documentation of system use, documentation of recurring problems and ways of solving.
The ideal scenario is that the support team is internal, involving participants in the process itself.
In a total deployment strategy, the good preparation of the support team is a determining factor for the successful adoption of the solution.
Often neglected, it is important to remember that the automated process is an information system and as such may also be defective. Ideally, the definition of how system support care will occur should be defined and agreed at the beginning of the deployment.
Support can be provided by internal (from the organization itself) or external (the company hired to support the system) team. In some cases, it is common to divide the support into Level 1 (first triage) and Level 2 (more complex problems), Level 1 is managed by the organization itself and Level 2 assigned to a third party company specialized in supporting this type of system.
If the contract is external, it is prudent to anticipate hours or clauses for improvements, as it is common in the first time of use to arise requests for improvements.
If the support contract is internal and the development was external, there must have been internal transfers to the internal team throughout the project. At the beginning of the deployment, the level of service for the support should provide for faster response times possible, as the delay in service can lead to a loss of credibility in the system.
Attention to these four key factors can be decisive in the successful deployment of the automated solution.