There is no question that automated workflows help organizations make the most of their resources.
But it’s possible for workflow automation initiatives to get lackluster results. One study of local councils in the UK found some benefits from workflow automation, but it also found that only about one-fifth of local councils have future plans for investing further in automated workflows.
Many factors affect how successful workflow automation projects are, and some factors are more malleable and controllable than others. Many of the UK councils, for example, are grappling with slashed budgets, and this certainly puts a damper on workflow automation. But in any organization where automated workflows are being implemented, four workflow strategies can help ensure that maximum productivity gains are realized.
1. Gain Buy-In from Leadership
Only when all personnel see the value of improving efficiency and the potential gains and ROI of workflow automation can a successful automation project ensue. C-level executives, department leaders, and on down through front-line workers must all understand the value of automation. They should also commit to the up-front costs (in time and resources) that will allow the organization to benefit over the long term.
2. Build Awareness of Workflow Automation Initiatives
Buy-in is necessary, but so is communication. Everyone must understand that workflow automation projects will take place, what the expected time frames are, and the expected benefits. People tend to fear what they don’t understand, and if they don’t understand workflow automation, they’re unlikely to have any enthusiasm about it. Building awareness and communicating plans with maximum transparency are ways to build support and readiness for when the projects commence.
3. Prioritize and Order Processes to Be Automate
The hardest part about a workflow automation initiative may be
deciding what to tackle first.
Trying to automate everything at once is usually a bad idea. Rather, organizations should prioritize efforts and choose an initial workflow automation project that is doable, and that will demonstrate positive results right away. Each successful workflow automation initiative keeps momentum going for further initiatives. Start too big and the workforce may be overwhelmed. Start too small, and everyone may wonder what all the fuss is about.
4. Train Workflow Users
Finally, providing training to workflow users is essential. Sure, automated workflows should make logical sense, and they should be easy to understand. But providing hands-on training helps build confidence in workflow users and also informs them of how to handle inevitable hiccups in the automation process. Don’t be tempted to skimp on workflow training. Like automation itself, training is an up-front investment that yields benefits that only get better over time.
Workflow automation can transform a nearly endless variety of business processes from awkward, needlessly bureaucratic activities to sleek workflows that do away with paper and endless status phone calls and move data to where it needs to be instantly. It requires a change in thinking, and it may require convincing people who are skeptical.
When leadership buy-in, employee awareness, a good prioritization plan, and a strong training program are part of the initiative, workflow automation can transform processes. They can also increase efficiency and productivity, and inspire new ideas for automated workflows.
PerfectApps is workflow automation software that is flexible, powerful, scalable, and that requires no coding, so you won’t have to hire a programmer. It can be used to automate the simplest to the most complex work processes, allowing businesses of all sizes and in all industries to streamline, automate, and increase efficiency and productivity. Did you know you can test drive PerfectApps for free by signing up for a trial? Why not see for yourself how easy workflow automation can be? And if you have any questions, we invite you to contact us at any time.