5 Steps to Streamlining Government Workflows
What are ways to optimise and ensure your workflows are efficient? In this article, we examine key learnings we have acquired over the years for setting up process workflows in government organisations that are effective and save time and money. Occasionally, commercial software solutions from enterprises are selected by government organisations without clearly understanding customisation required to deliver the desired outcomes. Underestimating these customisations is a trap that many government organizations fall into. With community expectations increasingly demanding delivery of services digitally, the solution may end up only serving your purpose partially and miss out on some of your critical processes and necessary requirements. Through our experience in delivering complex systems for government, we came across the following key areas you must consider for managing and digitising your process workflows.
1. Outcomes and Deliverables – What is your goal?
One of the most crucial aspect of commencing a workflow process is to clearly define goals. It helps key business units in identifying the effectiveness of end results of the digital service and how it should be delivered to the relevant users and or business units. This will also help you to analyse if the solution (to-be implemented) will solve the existing business problem, and further identify potential risks. Every business process should have a definitive outcome, and it is always recommended that these outcomes be quantifiable. It is important to ensure the technology partner and other stakeholders have a shared vision and work towards the same goal: which is setting up an efficient workflow to make citizens’ and staff’s live easier. Clearly defined goals at this stage, really help to shape the project and outcomes.
2. Business Rules – What defines your processes?
Business Rules lay the foundation for any business process. Given the complexity, defining business rules with government organisations is always challenging. But, spending quality time here will yield the results in long run. This is especially true if you are developing a new business process or enhancing an existing process or even automating a manual process. They key goal in this phase is to properly outline the business rules required to run the desired government process digitally. We see that you should be in control of your business rules and the solution should align to your business rules and not vice-versa. Huge success in this area can be achieved by involving all the key stakeholders and gathering consensus to avoid any errors and ensure that the technology solution complies with the business rules defined.
3. Business Units – Who are involved?
As an extension of the discovery of key stakeholders involved, you might have to ask yourselves some further questions. For instance, will there be any outside vendors involved in the service? How about healthcare professionals? It is important to review and classify all business units and their perspective requirements when in the discovery stage of building the system. Together with the business rules, mapping out the business units is the glue that creates a well-functioning system for government.
4. Users – Who are the intended users?
Building interfaces that serve good experience for various users, stakeholders or business units can prove to be challenging. User is the one who interacts with the system to complete their tasks as federated by the system. Having all the functionalities and features in the system is one thing and making these features easily accessible for the users is the winner. To achieve a better user experience, you might have to understand the user personas and user paths at granular level. And make sure that the user is provided with right information at right time in a right way.
5. Workflow Automation – How can I manage my work?
The most important aspect of a work flow is that the work should flow, and it should be seamless. To accomplish a workflow efficiently, you might have to investigate some tasks which can be automated. This kind of automation will help you to accomplish your task in a timely manner and can cut down on lot of necessary communication. Automations can range from notifying you about the tasks you have to action, send correspondence to other relevant parties, approvals etc. So, it is also important to determine your objective for automation of your processes. And, one thing to consider before you automate your processes is to make sure that your workflow process is efficient. Automation magnifies your workflow process. So, investigating your processes is much more important that investigating the automation tool.
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency – Bill Gates
Digitising any government service can prove to be a daunting task. But equipped with the right software, skills teams and well-defined objectives the project can prove to help citizens, government professionals and improve efficiency. If you are looking for an enterprise solution that manages workflows in government, click here to find out more or speak to one of our consultants.