By Randy Townsend
If you are serious about converting to a paperless workflow, hopefully you have (1) assembled a strong team of individuals that span across your organization and have (2) been asking questions critical to managing the transition. In case you are not sure about how to begin, please see Part 1, “The Road to a Paperless Workflow.”
The next thing you want to do is control your testing environment. Here are a few tips that will strengthen the foundation of your new workflow:
1. Start Small
There is no need to involve the entire organization when you are in the testing phase. Take baby steps confidently with as few people involved as you can manage. This will allow you the freedom to gauge intermediate successes and failures, and respond accordingly.
Avoid turning departments upside down with bold assertions strapped to explosive deadlines (We will be paperless by next Friday). Change can be a scary thing to many people. If done properly, your colleagues will have been a part of your program for some time before they truly realize the scope of the changes.
2. The Carriage Before the Horse
Be willing to reorder procedural steps. Transitioning into a paperless workflow constitutes a dynamic change in daily operations. Reassess the need for procedures structured to respond to the physical limitations of a paper-dependent workflow.
3. Redefine Roles
Some proposed changes might seem crazy, requiring redefining the some of your colleague’s job descriptions (or even your own). Be sure to discuss such possible changes with your Human Resources department. Remember that you are not changing the business itself, but rather working to improve the overall performance of our organization, which should be a common goal for everybody on staff.
As your testing is underway, your road towards paperlessness should appear greener!
Randy Townsend is a team leader in journals production at the American Geophysical Union. He is currently securing a Master’s Degree in Publishing at The George Washington University. Randy is also a freelance writer. See his interview with Basketball Wives’ Shaunie O’Neal in the latest issue of A-Game Magazine.