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Simplification and standardization – the recipe for digital success

March 30, 2020

It’s said almost every adult knows at least one recipe by heart. Whatever dish that may be, it’s something for which the cookbook can now safely stay on the shelf. We’ve got this one covered. We know what to do. We clear the work surfaces, gather the ingredients and kitchen equipment, and get started.

Implicit in this are two key factors: familiarity and preparation. We know and understand the necessary processes – and we’ve made sure up-front that everything is ready.

The path to digital transformation is no different. Arriving at your destination will be much easier if you know your starting point, and if you’ve ensured things are in order.

Taking stock

That’s why we recommend organizations invest a little time up front in assessing their current processes. Do those tasks have a common logic? For instance, are they consistent across different geographies or across different operational areas? Are they clear-cut or have some quick-fix sub-routines crept in over time? Do they have their own KPIs and are they meeting them?

When such assessments have been conducted, organizations can establish a comprehensive inventory of where they are – and this will make it easier to simplify the status quo. When everything is as tidy as possible, it’s much easier to define how the overall process is currently being executed, as well as how it ought to be in the future. A clear, rules-based approach makes it easier to introduce standardization – and standardization, in turn, facilitates automation and lays the foundation for the introduction of intelligent solutions.

The benefits of standardization go beyond mere groundwork for the future. Short-term advantages include not just a new-found clarity, but the fact that organizations now have a single, consolidated solution, making maintenance easier, facilitating performance analysis with smart digital workflows, and delivering greater returns on investment.

What’s more, automating activities and digitizing end-to-end processes can considerably improve the user experience. By removing obstacles from the online customer journey, organizations can not only increase satisfaction levels but also reduce the traffic levels in their call centers.

Of course, not everything can be standardized; but even in these instances, inputs can be made consistent across the workflow, thereby improving the overall process. It’s all about the preparation and clarity of purpose with which this article began.

In my next post in this series, I’ll consider the extent to which, as part of this preparatory decluttering, organizations can go paperless. In the meantime, you might like a deeper look at this subject by reading my contribution to the TechnoVision report.

Want to know the simplest ways to create a digital transformation in 2020? Download the TechnoVision 2020 report to help you through the process.

Read other blogs in this series :

Elle Sanchez Cardenas creates target operating models for finance and accounting with an automation first focus to improve transaction cycles, reduce manual effort, and increase capacity within teams. She also designs end to end transformations from process and policy enhancements to touchless processing.