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Business Process Automation: 6 Key Principles

Jun 19, 2015
Aleks Yenin

Posted by Aleks Yenin

Business process automation (BPA) has become one of the most important strategies used by contemporary businesses. It not only helps companies to contain costs and optimize investment, but also allows them to reduce resources involved and eliminate errors made due to human factor. Of course, this led to emergence of a large number of companies providing automation services to businesses in all industries.

Each company has its own unique approach to business process automation they implement, but there are still several fundamental principles each one of them follows (even if they can be called by different names). We personally have outlined 6 of them. Some of them are widely known and accepted, some we have outlined ourselves.

  1. USA principle. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with your geographical location, and it can be applied in any country whatsoever. USA here stands for Understand (the process), Simplify and Automate. It means that the existing process shall first be thoroughly analysed, then simplified to the greatest extent possible, and only after that – automated (if still required after simplification).
  2. Consistency. All actions within the automated process have to be consistent with one another and with all inputs and outputs of the process. In case there is no consistency the process implementation can be breached.
  3. Integration. The automated process needs to be integrated into the overall environment of the company. Integration can be implemented differently at various levels of the automation process, but the gist of the principle is the same: business process automation has to enable interaction of the automated process with the environment.
  4. Ongoing automation. From the very start the automation system has to be flexible and open for future additions and alterations. The processes can change from time to time, and the automation solution implemented has to reflect these changes.
  5. Step-by-step principle. There is no need to perform automation of all necessary tasks at once. The process can be better divided into several stages depending on the overall logic of the business processes in the company, company’s resources, financial opportunities etc.
  6. Training. Providing training together with the automation services is essential in order to ensure efficient process functioning after the automation is implemented. The better the company’s employees will know the new process the better it will function. However, training shall not be too hard which leads us to the final principle we’ve singled out as the most important one –
  7. Simplicity. Business process automation is meant to make processes easier and simpler, not more complicated. If, after the automation is completed, the process takes too much effort or human involvement – something’s not right. The simpler, the better – that’s our motto.

 

At Polontech, we try to follow all the principles above, using Atlassian products as core elements of our automation services. That’s what our senior expert Alexey Rjeutski says about our process:

We try to use the following strategy in our automation services:

  • we analyze current business processes of the company, primary and secondary ones, and create the processes plan
  • automate the processes using Atlassian products, usually JIRA, specific workflows and access rights
  • again analyze current business processes, make recommendations on their simplification/standardization
  • according to client’s needs, perform reengineering which is reflected in Atlassian systems
  • make Atlassian products core elements for current management system – now the product doesn’t depend on business processes, but vice versa.

 

This approach helps us ensure that the final solution we provide is as simple as possible and specifically addresses the business needs of the client.

 

We hope you found this article helpful. If there is anything you’d like to ask or share about business process automation – contact us.

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