Posted: Nov 5, 2021
In the last 18 months organizations have put a lot of thought into how the world will operate post-pandemic and what parts of their business must adapt. This often leads to a discussion on digital transformation, which admittedly can be an ambiguous term. Digital Transformation means something different for each organization depending on their industry and strategic goals. To help narrow the focus, this article addresses the intersection of two key components of Digital Transformation:
- Process Automation
- Automated Dashboard Reporting
These two concepts are often thought of independently, however the ability to effectively utilize data in your organization requires a more integrated approach.
The below 2 x 2 matrix provides an illustration of the impact of focusing on process automation and dashboard reporting:
The bottom left corner is where most organizations currently sit. Organizations have a collection of adhoc reporting and processes created using excel, word or some type of paper checklist. This approach is inherently inefficient and highly dependent on the individuals who are responsible for the execution of the process. This creates a high level of risk to the organization.
When organizations begin attempting digital transformation, they often start by developing Dashboard Reporting (bottom right corner). This often results in Unstructured Data and Inconsistent Reporting because the mechanism to get information into the Dashboards is primarily manual and relies on people being consistent with the data. This is very difficult to sustain and although people are well-intentioned the updates become less regular and the reporting becomes inaccurate as the consistency in process starts to fade away.
When organizations only focus on Process or Workflow Automation (top left corner) it becomes extremely difficult to show the benefits automation and clearly highlight how further action can be taken to improve outcomes.
The creation of a high performance, data driven culture is only possible by working on process automation and dashboard reporting in tandem. This type of integration can sound daunting, especially given the various challenges that everybody has experienced with IT projects. It doesn’t have to be this way! The act of automating your organization’s processes results in the elimination of workarounds and exceptions that build up over time. That can then be combined with dashboard reporting, which provides a real time view into how your processes are performing.
By taking a phased approach your organization can take steps down the digital transformation road without taking on a six figure project. We recommend initially focusing on one area of your business that has some form of historical data and leaders who embrace innovation. You can then create automated dashboard reporting with a focus on outputs that have a clear action item associated with them (e.g. if our productivity stays within a certain range and our backlog increases above this target then we bring in new resources).
As the world continues to become more competitive the organizations that stay in the bottom left corner will quickly be left behind. If you aspire to be in the top right corner then we encourage you to begin looking at process automation and dashboard reporting as complimentary areas to be integrated. Once that happens, you will quickly experience sustainable improvements and create a high performance, data driven organization.
*As seen in Enterprisetechsuccess.