The benefits of having automated workflows are obvious and well-documented. Time and cost savings, a reduction in error rates, and the collection of valuable, actionable data are just a few such benefits.
In short, automated workflows allow you and your team to spend less time on rote, repetitive tasks so you can focus more time and energy on your core business objectives. It’s also important to note that “automation” doesn’t necessarily mean that an entire workflow process goes from beginning to end without human interaction. Many tasks can be partially automated, yet still have people involved in the steps that cannot be automated, and the benefits are nearly as great in these cases.
Naturally, businesses want to maximize return on investment when they start using workflow software to automate processes. Here are four tips for maximizing the workflow automation ROI:
1. Identify Pain Points
To create automated workflows that make a difference, you have to first identify problems that need solving. Is one process particularly prone to errors, perhaps because of multiple points of data entry? Are some processes still reliant upon manual or paper-based processes? Does a particular process always experience bottlenecks at some point?
Talk to process users to learn exactly where the pain points are. Management may not be aware of the specific bottlenecks and issues that keep everyday processes from flowing smoothly, but the people who use those workflows regularly certainly are.
2. Prioritize Automation Projects
For your first automation process, you want to choose something where there is a need for automation, but you’re probably better off choosing a small, discrete automation task rather than, say, revamping your entire HR system. You could, for example, create online forms and an associated workflow for on-boarding new employees, allowing new employees to enter their personal information once and routing it to every form that requires that information rather than having them spend their first few days filling out endless forms. Once you gain confidence from a successful automation initiative, you can branch out more, tackling more substantive projects over time.
3. Monitor KPIs Before and After Automation
What good are automated workflows if they don’t actually make things better? You simply can’t know the effect of workflow automation if you don’t measure key performance indicators both before and after automated workflow implementation. Say you want to automate building maintenance requests. Spend a few weeks upfront determining how long the old process takes, how many mistakes have to be corrected, and so on. Then, after automation is complete and users know how to use the new process, measure those same KPIs. This will show you clearly where automation is making the biggest difference.
4. Choose the Right Workflow Software
The importance of choosing the right workflow software for workflow automation cannot be overstated. Your software must be both flexible (for customization) and powerful (so it will actually do what you need). Furthermore, it should be easy to scale up once you realize the power of workflow automation and want to extend it to more and more processes. Ideally, you should choose workflow software that doesn’t require programming or major IT infrastructure upgrades. The best workflow software will allow the people who end up actually using the workflows to have influence over workflow design. After all, they’re the ones who will be dealing with it day in and day out.
PerfectApps is workflow software that is powerful, flexible, and scalable. It’s also mobile-friendly, so you can create online forms and workflows that work perfectly with employee mobile devices. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, creating customized online forms and workflows is straightforward and requires no programming.
With PerfectApps, you can automate the smallest, simplest process, or the biggest, most complex one. Did you know you can try PerfectApps for free? Sign up for a free trial and test drive it yourself. Learn how companies just like yours facilitate automation and quickly reap the benefits.