I just read a great article in Document Strategy’s Spring issue by Alan Pelz-Sharpe, the principle at Deep Analysis. The main premise is that while organizations can choose to tackle digital transformation projects at a large scale, should they? The article goes on to point out some impressive arguments for taking a more selective approach to the modernization of any process. It was opportune because increasingly we get inquiries from organizations, both large and small interested in AI-based automation. Yet when we dig into the underlying rationale, we quickly realize there are many paths the organization can take. In a way, they are doing what Alan, early in his article, states should never happen: “Never start with the technology.”
In fact, last week, I wrote about two cases where the prospective client started out by looking for a document automation solution when they stood to benefit greatly from only process redesign. We once had a large organization run an expensive pilot to compare a process front-ended by e-forms with a process that started with scanned forms when the forms used were all owned by the organization (guess which path they chose).
Sure, document automation can (almost) always improve a process by speeding it up and increasing accuracy but it rarely should be the first place to start. Waaay back in 2020 (sorry to mention it), we, along with Doculabs released a helpful guide to the art of approaching digital transformation in bite-sized pieces instead of an eat-the-entire-apple approach. Admittedly this guide presumes document automation is a core need but starts up a level to define the current and desired process. First, along with the nature of the approach to figure out what should be done and in what order. In almost every case, starting at the beginning instead of the middle is the best approach. The good news is that having a better understanding of where you are now and where you want to be, often results in several options that provide an ability to ease into your transformation journey and collect a number of wins along the way.
Here’s to your successful journey.