The older I get and the more intrenched in business the better I love process. That’s right… I just wrote that… I LOVE PROCESS. Please no one tell my kids about this one… I won’t hear the end of it.
Process Vs. Process
I am sure you are aware of this fact. There are good processes and there are bad processes. As someone who has designed processes for a long time now, I have been the author of both (good and bad). For some reason the bad processes stick in my mind more. Whether good or bad, processes are important especially when it comes to the approvals of invoices in Accounts Payable.
When it comes to automated approval process there are seven things that will create better process that you should keep in mind.
- Start from scratch: When automating AP make sure you start with a blank slate, especially when it comes to the approval process. Paper approval processes have paper dysfunction that won’t translate to an automated process.
- Keep on recording: When creating or improving a good thing to remember is in an automated world is you are capturing more data. Use that data police and improve your automated process.
- Only approvers: This tip is to make sure that only people making decisions are in your approval process. Everyone else should stay out to make sure you don’t needlessly slow down the process.
- Don’t forget your manual: There are some of you (that are lucky) that your approval process is ruled my corporate policy… use it, you are fortunate, however refer to tip one to make sure you are not just duplicating your paper process.
- Give it another look: Creating a better approval process is an attitude (not that kind). The attitude is that the betterment of the process is a journey not a one time trip.
- What scalable? I wrote an entire bonus chapter on scalability in The 8 Pitfalls… can you believe that? Well if you don’t… here is the chapter… read it for yourself: Scalability
- Remember who it serves: Congrats on making it this far, and your reward is the most valuable tip to creating a better approval process. I have found, when analyzing processes that to ultimately find out the true nature of the process you should walk that process back to its original creation and ask the question, “who does this process serve”. When you answer that question, you will know why the process was created and therefore its ultimate nature. It’s upon knowing that nature that you can determine it’s worth.
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