Why automating workflow is so important for productivity
Workflow automation can be defined as making tasks, information and documents across activities related to work, perform independently according to definite business rules.
This should be straight forward and implemented regularly to improve productivity each day.
When should you implement workflow automation?
- Tasks are repetitive
- When tasks should be completely accurate, with no opportunity for human error
- Tasks are automated it can make them more efficient
Workflow automation importance
- There are several reasons for workflow to be automated such as faster operations, increased accuracy and efficiency
- It can be tracked
- Increased productivity
- Cost savings
- Little human error
- Ridding redundancies
- Communication improvements
- Effective customer service
- Increased customer engagement
Workflow automation benefits
- Workflow cycles reduced
- Less manual labour
- Less product handling
- More visibility
- Better customer satisfaction
- Employee satisfaction
- Better external and internal communications
- Increased production
- Saved costs
- Less human error
- Task management efficiency
Workflow automation uses
Workflow automation is used in several departments and industries such as IT, sales, human resources, finance, legal and healthcare.
For example, workflow automation in healthcare industries is used for automation in work schedules for staff and on call rotations. It also can be used for patient discharge and admission and automatically transferring health records electronically for patients.
Workflow automation within legal departments is useful for inputting client information, tracking and submitting contract reviews, managing case deadlines and automate billing.
Automate workflows for HR such as off boarding and on boarding employees, managing changes and time sheets.
Steps for workflow automation
Firstly, identify tasks that are repeated that automated workflow could benefit. This could also be a task which is high cost or susceptible to human error. This requires a deep knowledge of the operations in a business.
Secondly, define your business goals. How will your goals be achieved through workflow automation? The workflow should be adaptable and simple for the employees using it.
Thirdly, choose the best software for workflow automation which will help your business achieve their goals.
Next, train your employees on using the new software for workflow automation.
Finally, continuously measure KIPs and accordingly change the workflow. Feedback should be given to improve the user experience and workflow.
Static vs. dynamic workflows
Furthermore, dynamic automatic workflows can use software with a schema template which can determine when running the step that should then be taken.
A static automated workflow has no variance. In a definite sequence steps are taken, this does not depend on variables outside which could possibly influence the outcome. Whenever possible, dynamic workflows should be used with automation to help promote agility.
Popular software for workflow automation
Moreover, the chosen software should be carefully considered if you choose to apply workflow automation. This should be simple to use, used to help reach business goals and cost effective. The following are a few tools for workflow automation;
- ProcessMaker – This is an open source, web based tool for workflow automation. It is user friendly and often used in educational fields, manufacturing, telecommunications and healthcare.
- Integrify – This software uses a feature for drag and drop to build a workflow. In addition, users can collaborate on requests and tasks, run sequential or parallel flows, automate manual tasks, set reminders and test processes.
- Kissflow – Focuses on users creating automated workflows and tasks. This can be used in marketing, finance, sales, HR and others.
- Flokzu – This is a workflow automation cloud platform. This tool offers workflow templates and an interface which is task orientated. It doesn’t require any knowledge of coding.
- Nintex – This requires a small amount or no knowledge of coding. Enterprise users can automate and manage business processes and optimise them. Nintex has advanced tools that feature advanced workflows and process mapping.