7 benefits of Preliminary Process Analysis

07 January 2017

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Preliminary process analysis leads to a successful software implementation.

Organizations who are considering an (HR)-software implementation, are often in doubt about the benefits of a preliminary process analysis. Nevertheless, it’s a key facilitator for the later implementation. Are you not convinced yet? Or do you need to get your colleagues and/or management on board? Below arguments will (help you to) prove the added value!

1. End-to-end transparency

Although in most cases the process is documented, process analysis shows which key aspects are not present to guarantee a smooth implementation.

Let’s take the example of a learning process. Most of the time, a catalogue with an overview of all training sessions is available. But if we’re looking for an HR software covering all development needs of the organization then we also need to consider the following points:

o What are the most important triggers for the learning process: HR policy, legislation and so on.

o Are development plans and curricula available for specific target groups (new hires, security staff,…)?

o What are the touchpoints with inputs and outputs from other processes?

o How do we measure the ROI of training?

o Roles & information streams: who needs to be involved or informed at which stage of the process? (training manager, trainer, business manager, budget responsible,...)

o Monitoring and reporting: Which are the mandatory/necessary reports? What key figures do we need to follow up on?

o Follow up of training budget, blended training, information for the Social Balance, practical organization, logistics and so on.

2. Knowledge sharing and risk mitigation

Outlining your processes is also a way to collect knowledge that’s often only known for the people involved. If we externalise and document this knowhow, the organization becomes less vulnerable. Moreover, it creates a possibility for back up when employees are sick or on holiday.

3. A common framework and language

Describing and visualizing processes provides a common framework and language. By having a common understanding, potential misunderstandings can be identified and cleared out upfront.

An easy – but effective – way to document your processes is by using ‘swim lanes’. With ‘swim lanes’ your flows also include the roles and responsibilities. Swim lanes can be used for different purposes:

o As a starting document for the implementer: providing a clear overview of the different roles, process steps and the configuration needs in general.

o As input for the User Acceptance software Testing*: testers can take up the different roles as described and go through the entire flow.

o As foundation and overall framework for work instructions and training material

*http://usersnap.com/blog/types-user-acceptance-tests-frameworks/

4. Setting priorities

The overview of all administrative, policy- and role-related aspects of an HR-process are food for discussion on priorities and the approach sequence. Since you cannot do everything at once, you always need to start to set the ultimate goal and define the steps to achieve this. Even though it means that you start with 40% of your ‘ideal picture’; as long as it is a consistent setup and the ultimate goal is clear for everyone, you can stick to staged implementation.

5. Cost effective

By critically reviewing your processes in an early stage, key attention points and inconsistencies are detected and tackled before software configuration starts. By doing so, you will be able to save efforts and hence budget later, as drastic changes after software configuration have a big impact and are always more costly.

6. Opportunity for a clean start

Critically reviewing your processes before a software implementation is an ideal opportunity to correct mistakes from the past and eliminate ‘waste’ (e.g.: unnecessary reports, tasks,…). It also allows to harmonize practices across organizational units, countries and populations.

7. Energizing effect

Rethinking a process together, jointly discussing issues and looking for solutions creates engagement and strengthens ties. This is especially true for teams of diverse composition that have been created just for that purpose. Often the established relationships continue long after the project has finished, breaking down silos and planting a seed for continuous improvement for the future.

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