Tips & tricks

5 tips to effectively work with digital forms

During our implementations of KE-chain with our customers, we often see the same challenge; “How to work digitally, how do you do that?”. We like to keep things simple and we help our customers to improve step by step. Including the organization in the design of digitization is key. In this article, we have collected five tips to help you get started effectively.

Tip 1: Make the user the owner of the digital form

The digital form is a tool for carrying out the work for the user. How this looks and how it improves depends on the user. After all, they do that now. Don’t be tempted to come up with what is useful for your colleague at your desk. Each role has a different need.

Our tip is to make the user the owner of the digital form. This provides equal support for the chosen device, since the user has made the decision himself.

The first thing we do is to convert the current form 1-on-1. The users then decide for themselves what information they actually want to see and how. With KE-chain we support this by being able to adjust a form live. Completely visual. In addition, we help the user with additional information about the status of the form; “is it complete?”, “is everything correct?”.

A good practical example was during a pilot project with one of our customers. We had transferred the form 1-on-1 to the user. During the work, the performer had to fill in a lot of open text fields as a result. We then adapted the form on the spot to a selection list in which the user could select the correct answer. This resulted in support for and optimal design for the user.

Tip 2: Involve all users of a form

There are always multiple users of a form’s information. If not, we would immediately stop using the form. Greater time savings can be achieved by viewing the entire information chain. Digitization helps streamline information between users. And help users to continue working in accordance with the agreements. This results in transparency within the organization and towards customers and suppliers.

Our tip is to involve all users of a form in digitization. Give each user access to the information that is useful to him / her and automate routine tasks.

What we do to help our customers is to determine different phases per form. Each user then works with the optimal version of the form. Each user can only change the information that falls within his / her responsibility. Everyone always sees the current status of the form.

An example that we see a lot in the design of forms in KE-chain are phases such as: ‘preparing’, ‘inspecting’ and ‘checking’. Different users fill in part of the form information for each phase. In this case, these could be, for example, the filling in of the tolerances by the preparer at the office, the registration by the performer on location and the second-line inspection by the specialist at the office.

Tip 3: Focus on adaptability and minimize variation

The current working method is very flexible and is continuously adapted to the situation at the expert’s discretion. Adjustments that are sometimes necessary for the proper execution of the work. And adjustments that are sometimes only a personal preference.

Our tip is to avoid variation by making reuse as easy as possible. And also provide space for adjusting a digital form if necessary.

What we do to help our customers is to make reuse of customization easier. For example, it is possible to record the forms in a company catalog. These forms can easily be used 1-on-1 in a project. Of course it is always possible to adjust a form.

We also help by making the expert responsible and not the application. For example, with KE-chain it is possible not to fill in a form completely and to complete it. After all, if an expert does that, there will be good reason for that. We do help the organization by making this transparent. The expert therefore has something to explain.

Tip 4: Invest time to set up a digital working method

Digital forms are new means of making work easier. It is a new tool and it is a change. And change only happens with time and attention. Otherwise people fall back into their routine. Make the interior dependent on your own working method. You never know in advance exactly what works optimally. Learning is trying. Free up time to save time. This gives experts the space to give feedback and adjust their working methods.

Our tip is to give users time to do the digital design of the working method. Reserve time to do the setup. Apply it to projects to achieve improvements.

What we do during the setup of KE-chain with our customers is to invest extra time and to optimally guide our customer during the implementation. Pay attention to the users and let the organization determine the pace. We know where our customers want to go, but our customers determine what that looks like.

An example from practice is the first implementation of KE chain at our customers. We always start with a small pilot project to ensure that the design of the application is properly connected. From there, our customers then continue to optimize the forms and working method with key experts per discipline. They are then able to further improve the interior themselves.

Tip 5: Assume that you want to change

The primary work process is constantly changing due to new insights, new materials, methods and means or new products and other contract forms. Digitization supports the primary process and must therefore change to keep up with the organization.

Our tip is to start from the change during the setup of digitization. Being in control of the design and degree of adaptability determine how long you can effectively work with the digital forms.

During the implementation phase we invest extra time to optimally guide the customer. Of course we are available if you need an expert. In addition, we help by developing the application with our customers, whereby we pay attention to making reuse easier, increasing transparency, and reducing routine activities.

A good practical example is the development of the digital inspection solution. The custom solution has grown within two years into a flexible solution in which multiple customers manage, execute and improve their own forms and working methods.

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