Before you start automating your documents…
Have a look at what I’ve learned from years spent advising our customers on automating their own documents in Legito. What should you do before you begin automating your documents?
The first step – Choose suitable documents
Document automation isn’t free. It’s an investment that has to be returned.
Like any investment, devoting resources to document automation needs to make sense. That’s why it’s important to evaluate which types of your company’s will provide the greatest return after automation.
I use the following criteria to help customers decide if a document is worth automating:
• How long is the document?
• How often does your company use it?
• How many different wording options does it need to contain?
– Bad use case:
I intend to automate a Power of Attorney.
The document is 1 page long. Our company uses it roughly 10x per year. It only contains 2 selections from options for wording – (i) Power of Attorney for conclusion with an employee, other person or a company and (ii) Power of Attorney for a fixed term or permanent. Since the document is so short, each automated option will only save me roughly 3 minutes, equating to
10 x 2 x 3 = 60 minutes
saved per year on drafting Power of Attorney.
The return on investment (ROI) in this case is very slow, making it unsuitable for automation.
+ Good use case:
I intend to automate an Employment Contract.
Altogether, the Employment Contract and all its related documents are 8 pages long. Our company uses it 200x per year. It contains 20 automatable selections from wording options (e.g. type of employment and salary, probationary period, overtime work conditions, termination, etc.). Each automated option saves me an average of 6 minutes, so it’s
200 x 20 x 6 = 24 000 minutes (approx. 400 hours)
saved per year on drafting Employment Contract.
Return on investment (ROI) in this case is very fast, so automating this file makes complete sense.
To help you visualize this, here’s a MATRIX OF DOCUMENT AUTOMATION ROI :
Second step to automation – Research your documents
Take a look at several recently created examples (10-20) of the documents you intend to automate.
Such research helps you understand what changes you have been repeatedly making to a document. These places of repetition are exactly the parts of your document that are best for automating.
Third step to automation – Mind map
The third step is to visualise all options you intend to automate in a mind map. You can easily create such a map for free using Coggle.
Full blog post available here.