You’ve heard all about Customer Experience Management, but what about Process Experience Management? We define process experience as the holistic view of the chain of business systems and functions that move information internally and externally. If you’re not into jargon, it’s how things get done.
In an entirely analog world, process experience is difficult to define, much less manage. As business processes moved online and into the cloud, it became possible to give a shape and a name to the individual services or functions and measure their efficacy.
Most organizations sit somewhere left of center on the spectrum of digital maturity. Bringing end-to-end processes online and effectively using automation takes thoughtful planning, testing and commitment.
Many customers we speak with start with what they perceive is a narrow problem revolving around a single function or piece of technology - they need digital signatures, or a few of their forms to be mobile-responsive. As we evaluate the perceived issue it becomes much clearer that the scale of the problem sits somewhere between huge and massive.
The Process Experience Matrix
When we take a holistic view of business processes we use the Process Experience Matrix to categorize and assess business functions. The matrix has five categories – data capture, workflow automation, document generation, digital signatures, and reporting & analytics.
Each category represents a set of business functions that can be grouped together but which are interdependent on other services to form a solution. Let’s dive in.
Reporting & Analytics
Reporting and analytics are the most critical component of the matrix because they provide the insights that drive business transformation, yet many organizations have little or no data on process experience.
Peter Drucker is famous for saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it”. This is why reporting & analytics is central to any process experience management program. One of the single biggest reasons for moving to digital native processes is the ability to generate the feedback loops necessary to incrementally improve.
Configuring your digital tools to provide leading indicators for operational lag or revenue challenges is the surest way to accelerate the adoption of digital service consumption by your customers and employees.
PDF forms, Word forms, Excel spreadsheets, and HTML5 forms all perform the function of capturing data. In today’s mobile-first world the most effective data capture tools are responsive and immersive. Conversational forms, like those offered by Typeform, have become commonplace in digital enrollment because they convert customers at a higher clip.
Beyond enrollment, many organizations are still struggling to offer quality data capture experiences to their customers and employees. And No, fillable PDFs don’t cut it. The paradox that end-users experience between modern digital enrollment and the dated or analog form and document processes that come after led our friends at Morf to coin the term ‘The Great Forms Drop Off’.
It’s difficult to find a SaaS application these days that isn’t hooked into Zapier. The omnipresence of this ‘automate everything’ platform speaks to the power and demand for workflow automation. In a nutshell, workflow automation is how we move something from here to there.
The power of workflow automation is that it scales services with speed and accuracy beyond what human labour is capable of. This is not the rise of the machines, in our experience workflow automation is nearly always deployed on mundane and repetitive tasks that are joyless and frustrating.
To tie into our data capture story, workflow automation is how we route a form submission to the appropriate party or system. As part of that routing, we can set steps for approvals, update records in other systems, or trigger subsequent actions based on the field data in a form.
A high proportion of business processes require documents of record as well as signatures for approval. Workflow automation allows us to call these services individually or together in order to complete the process.
Documents are the pillar of most businesses, and boy are there a lot of documents. According to the folks at Notion, the main issue is that pages are the smallest atomic unit in a document meaning information is locked in pages, files, and folders.
We see this play out quite clearly in use cases like contracts. Many businesses have contract templates that are largely boilerplate language, with a few customer or vendor details to be filled in by the issuer. It is a painstaking job to continuously create and manage these contract documents with accuracy at any volume resulting in organizational drag.
Document generation services like Adobe Document Generation will automatically populate a document template with data in real-time. Not only does this work for one-off documents, but for situations where hundreds or thousands of documents need to be created like personalized customer statements. Document generation can easily save large organizations thousands of man hours a year while ensuring accuracy and compliance standards are met.
And what if these documents need to be signed?
If you didn’t have much exposure to digital signatures pre-pandemic it is likely you came across some variant like Docusign or Acrobat Sign in the last few years. The very sudden and urgent need for remote work condensed the widespread adoption and consumption of digital signatures into a two year span.
We often call digital signatures the last mile, as in the last part of the process to be digitized.
Because many digital signature solutions work from flattened documents, they are best paired with more dynamic tools for data capture, workflow automation, and document generation. However, digital signatures in no small part have actually unlocked many of the use cases for services the other services in the matrix.
Building Your Process Experience Management Program
The best way to start a cohesive PXM program is by gathering data. We don’t recommend needing granular field level data for forms or document renders at first. A general overview of the number of form or document processes you have, which of those require signatures, and how many are mobile responsive, will give you an indication of the overall health of your digital processes.
From there you can begin to implement incremental and iterative changes to move towards realizing digital maturity across your organization. Each new end-to-end digital process that comes online should feed your reporting and analytics engines so you have the capacity for continuous improvement.
With the range of API-driven tools that are available it is easier than ever to embed your digital services on your web properties and in your core systems. See the links below for suggestions on tools you can use to improve your process experience management program. Happy optimizing!!
Reporting & Analytics