3 Strategies That will Reduce the Fear of Workflow Automation

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

In my previous post, “Workflow Automation Can Be Scary!”, I outlined how workflow automation can be scary to many employees, as it creates uncertainty, introduces transparency and takes away control.  In this post, I will explain three well established strategies that will help address each of these concerns. 

1. Listening is key to managing the fear of uncertainty

Management has to invest the time to listen to everyone’s concerns.  Often times, the concerned employees just want to be heard, understood and feel like their concerns were taken seriously.  This can also provide key information that will be helpful in the design and implementation of the process.  It may be that adding a certain report or business rule is all it takes to alleviate some of the concerns, and it may also improve the workflow process when automated.  In addition, by listening, management can uncover and address some of the hidden concerns which may be less about the automation itself, and more about the reasons for it, i.e. will they lose their jobs. It is amazing how many problems can be avoided by simply listening.

2. Communicating the benefits is key to addressing the concerns around transparency

Transparency can stir fears in employees that they are distrusted and will be monitored by management after the automation.  It’s very important to address this by highlighting the many major benefits that transparency and visibility  provide to all employees in the process, not just to the organization. Some of these major benefits include: 

Saving time: Rather than employees spending their time chasing people and paper forms or searching through emails to get status information, a well implemented workflow automation project will provide key dashboards and reports that let everyone know the status of each process.

Providing peace of mind: A typical workflow system will send alerts and reminders to each person when their part is due.  This streamlines the workflow and increases peace of mind when running these processes.  The employee is no longer concerned that they may have forgotten to complete a task as the workflow platform keeps them alerted throughout.

Reducing frustration: Often times, the processes that are being automated are causing a lot of frustrations to many people.  Automation will improve their work life quality, and eliminate wasted time and rework due to mistakes.

Increasing productivity:  The goal for automation is to free up employees’ time to focus on higher value work rather than shuffling paper or manual processes that don’t add value.  They are able to be more innovative and produce more with less manual effort.

By communicating often and clearly the benefits of transparency and visibility from workflow automation, fear and distrust can be turned into anticipation and excitement.

3. Turn process owners into change agents to address fears around loss of control

Process owners can provide a lot of critical insight into the culture, uniqueness of the processes and skillset of the employees who will need to change.  Their resistance to change can be reduced greatly by listening to them, valuing their input and experience, and leaning on them early on in the implementation and even in the platform selection process.  They can provide valuable information that can influence the selection of the workflow solution as well as the design and architecture of the implementation.  By involving the process owners in the design process, their fear and uncertainty turns to pride and security, as they become the thought leaders, owners of the new automated process and designers of the system.  They will then turn into champions and change agents in the organization, helping with training and adoption of the system.

In conclusion, cultural resistance is one of the biggest obstacles to a successful workflow automation project.  Organizations who address this obstacle early on and directly with the strategies listed in this article will improve greatly their chances of project success. A well implemented and adopted workflow automation project will quickly become a success story given all the benefits and time savings it provides for everyone.  Within a few weeks of launch, most people will find it hard to imagine, or even remember, that they were running the process any other way.

If you’d like to learn more and create a Proof of Concept app with Intellect, click here for a free trial. http://www.intellect.com/free-trial

Tags: Workflow and Business Process Management, workflow automation, business automation, Workflow, Hosted Workflow, change, Manual process, BPM, BPM Suite, business process, Business Process Management, Workflow Process Management, BPMS, IT change

EMPLOYEE SETUP APP:  Learn hOW TO AUTOMATE ONBOARDING BEYOND HR

Posted by Romeo Elias on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 @ 02:23 PM

The Employee Setup application is a modern enterprise app that makes it easy to onboard new employees by automating onboarding beyond HR.  As a compliment to your core HRIS system (ADP, Workday, Oracle, HCM/PeopleSoft, etc.), the app is designed to automate and streamline the process of setting up a new employee upon agreement of employment, with established work item requirements, while reducing the time-to-productivity. The purpose of the application is to automate the manual checklist/tasks managers use when a new hire comes on board, ensuring nothing gets overlooked or delayed, in turn, increasing the level of productivity and employee retention.

The app will provide the ability to clearly align new hires with key business strategies, while standardizing and individualizing new hire elements. The Employee Setup App is ideal for organizations with a high volume of new hires annually, or with high turnover, and enables high efficiency, productivity, and compliance.

The Employee Setup app is a pre-configured; ‘out of the box’ solution built on the Intellect Platform, and offers customization and integration functionalities. The Intellect BPM Platform empowers everyone to innovate by giving people the ability to build and deploy a wide variety of enterprise business apps rapidly, without the need for programming from design to launch. With Intellect’s agile development methodology, users are enabled to easily create web-based enterprise apps with smart forms, integrated enterprise data, automated workflow, advanced reporting capabilities, and the ability to go mobile in just minutes.

 

 

Watch Recorded Webinar 

 

What Attendees will learn:

  • How to automate over 30 manual tasks with the Employee Setup App before your new hires first day of work.
  • How the Employee Setup App will lead to increased employee productivity and lower turnover, saving your company both time and money
  • How to customize the Employee Setup App to directly align and integrate with your HR, HRIS, and hiring processes
  • Integration with DocuSign when there’s a need for eSignatures

Who should attend:

  • HR Executives/VPs/Directors/Managers
  • CIOs and IT Executives
  • Departmental Heads
  • Companies with High Turnover

 

Tags: BPM, Mid Market, Business Process Management, Cloud, HR, HR Gap, mobile applications, Workflow and Business Process Management, mobile apps

An Intern's Experience with Intellect

Posted by Kyle Fratello Hakim on Mon, Jul 28, 2014 @ 10:41 AM

I joined Interneer as a summer Sales Development intern on May 21st. A local college student at USC, I was to be responsible for identifying and creating new qualified sales opportunities for Account Executives, and spent my first few days on the job simply trying to comprehend what exactly the broad Business Process Management (BPM) field encompasses.

After a few hours (quickly days) of reading whitepapers and watching demos of Interneer’s Intellect platform given to potential customers, I finally had a simplistic understanding of BPM. In order to sell Intellect, however, I wanted to be able to direct customers to specific abilities that were unique to Interneer’s offering.

My need for differentiators led to my request for a live test site on June 13th, a Friday, at around 4 PM. The test site would allow me to build apps and automate workflows as if I were an Interneer customer.

By 5:01 PM, about an hour later, the first entry in a job application app I had built was present. While it wasn’t revolutionary, my job application automation program was built in less than an hour, and accepted responses instantly when completed. Hypothetical applicants were automatically assigned random application numbers for reference purposes, and could upload resumes, provide links to LinkedIn profiles, and mention a point of reference within the company.

 create-apps-1.png 

I was surprised at my ease in leveraging some of Intellect’s more impressive capabilities, such as automatically populating the list of options for the applicant’s point of reference with current Interneer employees in the company system. 

Just an hour after receiving login credentials to my live test site, I, a summer sales intern who arrived void of knowledge as to what BPM was, yet alone how to implement it, was already able build a basic app. The only training I had received prior to my endeavor was gathered simply by listening in on past demos, which are publicly available for viewing on Interneer’s website (here), that were given to potential customers.

Interneer markets itself as the BPM for the business analyst, and I could not agree with this more. Who better to have build apps than the people who will use them and understand what they want out of them? Clearly, my case demonstrates the ease of picking up the platform. If a steep learning curve is a source of hesitation for business analysts, I can, and will testify that building, and learning to build, applications using Intellect is intuitive, and dare I say it, fun.
 

Intrigued? Schedule a free demo!

Request a Demo

 

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, Hosted Workflow, mobile applications, mobile apps, project tracking

SMBs Welcome Smart IT Solutions

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, Mar 19, 2013 @ 02:23 PM

According to a recent Gartner report the SMB market keeps expanding resulting in new opportunities for innovative IT solutions.  “SMB will spend approximately $920 billion worldwide on IT in 2013. Out of those 920 billion…The SMB market represents 44% of the total IT spend worldwide”, Gartner reports. This comes as no surprise since SMBs have become a big part of our worldwide market. According to statistics there are 6 Million SMBs in the U.S. and a total of 65-70 Million SMBs worldwide.  

SMBs find themselves continuously competing against larger businesses and as a result they need to be innovative on how they handle their IT needs to keep up with larger competitors. As a result, popular IT solutions have emerged that have adapted their technology to develop comprehensive solutions for business analysts and SMB business owners, reducing the need for programming,  years of experience, extensive training as well as long and costly implementations.  

New_BPM_Solutions.jpg

According to Gartner, IT solutions for SMBs should:

  1. Be affordable with outstanding support
  2. Be easy to install, configure and manage
  3. Demonstrate fast ROI (Return on Investment)
  4. Provide flexibility in deployment options
  5. Provide entry level functionality that can be easily scalable
  6. Not require too long to achieve benefits
  7. Be delivered by providers that are “easy to do business with”

Gartner predicts that by 2015, the SMB market is projected to cross the trillion dollar mark in IT spending. While this change takes place the flexibility of IT services on the cloud for SMBs will also become more popular.  

“By 2015, 70% of midmarket businesses with 100-999 employees and 40% of small
businesses with 20-99 employees will acquire paid public cloud services.” This change has already begun. In fact, Gartner estimates that in 2013, the percentage of SMBs moving their system to the cloud will jump by 20% over 2012.  
Additionally, a new need is emerging with the popularity of tablet computing among SMBs: mobile connectivity from any location. Mobile connectivity to business applications will keep growing among SMBs. In fact Gartner projects that by 2015 the growth of tablet computing among SMBs will outpace that of larger enterprises.    

 

 

 



Tags: BPM, Mid Market, Business Process Management, Workflow, BPM Suite, Hosted Workflow, SaaS, Cloud, SMB, Workflow and Business Process Management, Gartner conference, SMB market, SMBs

CIOs to invest heavily in business apps like BPMS in 2013

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 @ 11:20 AM

According to a new survey from Delphix conducted in September 2012 by IDG Research of over 100 enterprise CIOs and top-level IT executives, there will be heavy investing in Enterprise Business Apps in 2013.  

Specifically, more than 50% plan to invest in Business Process Management applications.  More than 60% will be deploying new apps or modernizing old apps.  The primary drivers are to reduce operating costs, improve productivity of the workforce, improve customer service and grow revenue.

Interestingly, the same study showed that 94% of these IT execs find it challenging to deliver new enterprise app projects on time and on budget.

These survey findings are in agreement with our experience with new and existing customers and partners in 2012:  Companies are investing in BPM software to increase productivity rather than hire new workers.  This trend is likely to continue in 2013 and we believe BPM will have another good year.

In addition, we expect to see a continuation of Cloud BPM solutions being adopted by SMB and Mid Market companies, not just enterprises.  The combination of ease of use, low entry costs, and very rapid time to value has been a big hit in 2012 and we expect it to continue next year. 

More companies are beginning to realize that robust BPMS implementations don't require programming or an army of technical workers and can be completed rapidly in days and weeks.

Here are the links to the executive summary and article on the survey.

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, BPM Suite, SaaS, Enterprise, BPMS, ROI, Workflow and Business Process Management

Interneer 1st Annual Partner Conference: Alligār Presentation

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, Oct 02, 2012 @ 01:11 PM

Positioning to Sell Intellect in Small and Medium-size Businesses (SMB) and Mid-market companies Presentation

Gary Spaid, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of Alligār shared Alligār’s strategy for how to "sell" the Intellect platform to Mid-market and SMB companies and demonstrate the need for BPM.

Spaid compared how IT manages each problem they are presented with at any moment to the game of Tetris:  They have to learn how to manage any type of issue that comes their way in a very limited amount of time, but a good strategy is the first step to a successful outcome. In this game, one randomly selected block after another falls down the screen and you must arrange these blocks to prevent them from stacking up to the top of the play field. Each block is followed by another, not leaving enough time to implement the best solution and leaving gaps that after a short time pile up and kill the player.

Spaid expands his comparison by asking: What if you could influence which blocks are selected?  What if you could empower the requestor to build custom-configured blocks? For Spaid this is the strategy for selling Intellect.  He presents Interneer Intellect for its value as a BPM platform with a goal of not to sell but to be asked to deliver.

Lastly, he shares the steps he takes for a successful sale: earning a customer’s trust, understanding the entire business, building an enterprise model of the “As-Is”, determining areas of opportunity, and to always do the right thing for the customer.

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, Workflow, Cloud, HR Gap, SMB

Xchange 2012 Partner Conference

Posted by Romeo Elias on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 03:57 PM

Just returned from the UBM Channel annual XChange 2012 conference. We had a chance to present, meet and speak with many solution providers across North America, who focus largely on SMB and Mid Market companies.

I was surprised to learn that the solution providers were not as aware and knowledgeable on Workflow and BPM as the customers they serve, especially the Mid Market focused companies.  However, as they learned what the technology was capable of, it became obvious to them how BPM and workflow management could help their customers and that the need was there. 

Being a cloud BPM solution was also a big hit among the solution providers.  It turns out their SMB and Mid Market customers have been aggressively driving demand for cloud based solutions and it was good to receive that feedback and validation.

Overall a good event and we will be updating our partner program thanks to their feedback and adding many more new partners to our channel.

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, Workflow, Workflow Process Management, BPM Suite, Hosted Workflow, SaaS, Cloud, BPMS, Workflow and Business Process Management

Gartner BPM Conference 2012

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, May 01, 2012 @ 05:11 PM

I just returned from the annual Gartner conference in Baltimore, MD this year. Here are a number of take aways from the event:

  1. The turn out was good.  I noticed the place was buzzing with companies who were interested in BPMS or learning about BPM best practices.  It's a good sign that the economy is healthy.
  2. There seemed to be less vendors this year than usual and that may be due to the fact that more consolidation has occurred in this field at the enterprise solutions level. 
  3. The impression I got was that BPM is now fairly mainstream in the enterprise market, with established IT Services and Content Management companies dominating after their acquisitions.
  4. The message from Gartner was still that BPM was for the enterprise and a major undertaking that requires companies to transform themselves and invest considerable Dollars if they choose to embark in a BPM initiative.

We don't agree with Gartner's position on this.  Our target market and customers in the Mid Market and SMB space have been benefiting from our BPM solution for years at a fraction of the cost and resource investment the traditional enteprise players require. 

I did also observe some interesting facts and trends after speaking to a number of vendors and analysts:

  1. The opportunity for BPM is now moving downstream in the marketplace to Mid Market and SMB companies as the enterprise space has been saturated with the big IT services companies.  Most of the established players however can't move downstreams given their business models and technology stacks.
  2. There have been a number of proven metrics and ROI measures from successful BPMS implementations: On average, companies are seeing double digit ROI, with more than 50% of projects completed within 4 months. In addition, companies are increasing customer retention and gaining competitive advantages through BPMS implementations.
  3. As I suspected, Social BPM is non-existent yet and is in its infancy. There is no real world application or what benefits it can provide in practice.  It is primarily marketing hype at this point, however will likely change in the next couple of years.

Overall it was a good conference and it validated further our target and positioning in the Mid Market.  It will be interesting to see the development of this market in the next few years.  

Tags: BPM, Mid Market, Business Process Management, BPM Suite, Enterprise, BPMS, SMB, Social BPM, ROI, Gartner conference

Filling the HR Gap

Posted by Romeo Elias on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 01:21 PM

HR solutions come in many flavors and with lots of features. Some provide the basics for tracking employee life cycles, hiring, firing, raises, etc. Some focus on finding talents like managing resumes, interviews, advertising and integrating with job sites.  Others include payroll processing and benefits management.  These systems provide a lot of value to HR managers and departments for mid to large companies, enabling them to manage the day to day HR activities as well as track the dynamic database of employees joining or leaving the company.

As companies reach higher process maturity levels and start to document and enforce structured business processes, many of these HR systems begin to struggle.   For example, what if your organization required a process for approving raises that depended on a number of approval steps.  Or what if company policies defined rules that determined the necessary approvals based on employee job title, pay raise amount or role.  Most of these HR systems typically provide some basic approval process if any, and deviating from that process becomes a large software development customization effort, if at all possible.  Thus HR Managers resort to email, paper (manual) or spreadsheet based ways to track these changes and approvals to work around the limitations of the HR System.  This is what I am referring to as the HR gap.

Business Process Management Platforms have emerged as a compelling solution to this problem and to fill the HR gap.  These systems are designed for the rapid modeling of a workflow process through a drag and drop interface, with the ability to route forms and data between people.  In the case we just described, the BPM platform would allow the HR Manager to define the workflow process of approvals, along with the various rules.  Once a request is made (could be for a raise, promotion, transfer etc.) through the system, the manager is notified by email and can then login to view the status of the request, respond, approve or reject the request.  The system provides a real time status view on where a request is, reminders for past due requests, and can even be setup to interface with the company’s HR System once the request is approved.

In addition, the workflow engine maintains an audit trail that tracks the requests, comments, decisions, both in real time and as a historical record.  This enables companies to mitigate the risks involved in making such decisions by demonstrating they followed their processes and policies as defined.  Not only do companies using BPM platforms save time in processing these requests, they reduce costs by eliminating paper forms and unnecessary mistakes.  Employee morale is improved and HR departments are empowered with a process platform they can manage and control, without any programming or technical resources.

If you would like to see a examples of how HR departments are leveraging BPM platforms, click here.

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, BPM Suite, Hosted Workflow, SaaS, Cloud, HR, HR Gap, Manual process, Employee request, HR Process, Workflow and Business Process Management, Human Resources

Mid Market company IT pressures

Posted by Romeo Elias on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 03:27 PM

A recent conversation with analysts from Info Tech Research Group revealed some interesting insights about the pressures facing IT departments at Mid Market companies.

Besides the usual backlog of requests from the business that keeps increasing, they find themselves having to deal with more complex demands that are beyond the internal capabilities of the groups.  In addition, the IT skills required are becoming more broader to address the various demands, with less vertical specialization in house.

In addition SaaS tools are disrupting the way IT used to function, as business units are getting on the Cloud directly, bypassing IT, or in many cases, are getting more involved in purchase decision making. 

These pressures are causing a shift in IT skills, with companies seeing a rise in business developers, as compared to highly skilled tool developers, and a shift in IT from the business of running technology and infrastructure to the business of managing vendors and being business analysts.

Business Process Management platforms are designed to address these new realities as they can address the backlog of demands on IT due to their rapid development capabilities, they can empower the business with the help of IT, and they are easy to learn and adopt.  The next frontier for BPM platforms is Mid Market companies!

Tags: BPM, Business Process Management, SaaS, Cloud