Start with the end in mind: Optimize your future state by leveraging the current state
When beginning a digital transformation project, most organizations are focused on their future vision. While knowing your goal state for business processes and systems is important for a successful transformation, it is also important to leverage your current state. The Tambellini group explains that doing so can be energizing for teams by bringing together problem silvers and removing day-to-day issues that may arise. Here is how leveraging your current state will optimize your end goal and help you get there.
When preparing a move to the cloud, documenting the current state will help achieve your future vision. It’s crucial to understand what is happening now to successfully transition to new ways of working. Start by outlining the necessary steps needed to complete a task or move through a process. This will serve as an essential guide for employees and managers to reference and identify the gap between what is working and what is not working. Current state documentation also ensures there is process and task consistency, regardless of who completes it.
Benefits of documenting the current state
Documenting the current state creates opportunities for analysis, knowledge sharing and cross-functional collaboration. It also drives greater engagement around hand-off among function area leads and reduces the silos in which work gets done. Documenting business processes increases the understanding of how the transition in one area will impact another.
Here are three actions to take when documenting your current state:
- Identify gaps in existing processes and define potential improvements
- Review existing processes and eliminate inefficient or unnecessary ones
- Add new processes to achieve future state vision
Documenting the current state is less about reflection on where you are but providing direction for where you want to go. This lays the foundation for continuous improvement as processes and systems evolve and change with business demands.
Keys for Process Documentation Success
Include the right people and subject matter experts in the process by assigning the owners to document their process steps. Also remember to include team members from other departments when hand-offs occur.
Keep documentation current by establishing a regular cadence for review and updates.
Write in plain language for clarity and only include what is necessary to understand the process. Too much information is confusing, so perform a sanity check with someone who is not familiar with the process to see if they understand it.
Identify, track, monitor, and address potential areas of improvement, including problem areas that create challenges or inefficiencies, and activities that add no value to the business or process.
Ensure documentation is easy to access by storing it in a central location and providing access to all employees with appropriate permissions that is searchable and easy to find.
Leveraging the Current State for Continuous Improvement in the Future
By understanding your current state, you can identify areas for improvement and increase efficiency before moving to the cloud. Taking time to document current business processes creates a foundation for behavioral changes required before a cloud implementation and helps employees understand how the changes fit into and impact how work gets done and how it aligns to the larger business imperative.
Cloud brings a whole new way of working into the organization. According to Forbes, it not only speeds up scalability, but it allows organizations to become more innovative and spend less time on manual processes. Work with your cloud implementation team to first understand how efficiencies can be configured into the new system and use change management techniques to manage the people side of change and drive successful adoption.
Brenda Robinson is a senior change management consultant focused on customer satisfaction, process adoption and efficiency, and bottom line improvements.