If you are like most people, you probably consider workflow automation to be complicated or confusing. You might also think it is not worth the time and effort because other things need more attention in your business.
If this sounds like you, then keep reading! This post will show you how workflow automation can save you time and increase efficiency. We will cover everything from what workflow automation is to tips on getting started with workflow automation for your role!
What is workflow automation, and how does it work?
Workflow automation is the process of using workflow software to automate tasks and processes. This can be as simple as automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks or complex business logic that requires multiple inputs from different people/teams.
When it comes to workflow automation, are two key components:
The workflow engine – this component runs the workflow logic to automate tasks
The workflow user interface – this is where you interact with the workflow engine, typically through a user-friendly web application.
What can you automate?
Common workflow automation tasks include:
Scheduling your marketing campaigns – a workflow engine can help you automate the creation and publishing of social media posts, blog articles, new product ads etc. This ensures that everything is up-to-date for each audience on every platform at all times! It also means no more forgetting to publish an important blog post before a holiday!
Creating and sending personalized email marketing campaigns – workflow automation can help you create dynamic, segmented lists of leads based on specific criteria. For example, if someone subscribes to your newsletter in January they will be added to a different list than if they subscribe in March. This also applies when creating links for your email blasts. You can add dynamic parameters so that the click-through link is different for each person, such as showing them a special offer based on their activity with your business.
Automating workflow tasks – every role in your organization requires some level of workflow automation to keep things running smoothly and ensure everyone has what they need when they need it! For example, workflow can help you automate your employee onboarding process by collating all the documents and information they need in one place.
Automating expense reporting – You could also use workflow to keep track of company expenses by having people submit their receipts directly into a workflow application where an accountant or bookkeeper then approves them before reimbursing the person who submitted it.
Ongoing and repetitive tasks – workflow automation is also great for ongoing and repetitive workflow tasks, such as ordering supplies.
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What workflow automation software should you use?
There are workflow platforms available for companies of all sizes and industries. To choose the best workflow automation platform, consider:
Ease-of-use – workflow automation is only effective if your team will use it! You need a workflow engine that’s easy to learn and understand. Look for an interface that is clean, intuitive, and user-friendly. It should also be customizable so you can put workflow automation tasks wherever it makes the most sense for your business.
Ease of setup – You want to choose workflow software that has a low barrier to entry with minimal configuration time required before you get started. For example, some workflow engines require weeks or months of preparation and workflow process mapping before you can even begin to automate workflow tasks. This just isn’t practical for most businesses!
Scaleability – You also need a workflow automation platform that will work as your business grows and changes. Look for software with flexible, customizable workflows so it’s easy to adapt the workflow engine as needed without having to start from scratch.
Examples of workflow automation tools:
Microsoft Flow – workflow automation software that helps you automate and manage tasks, such as emails and approvals.
IFTTT (If This Then That) workflow engine – this is an excellent option for small businesses who need to schedule social media posts or send personalized email marketing campaigns. It’s also great for automating repetitive tasks like file sharing, printing documents, and approving time-off requests.
JIRA workflow – this is a great option for larger organizations that have complex workflow processes or multiple teams involved in workflow automation. It’s also ideal if you want to create custom workflows specific to your particular business needs. For example, JIRA workflow allows you to build different workflow automation workflow tasks depending on the department or individual who needs to complete it.
Wrike workflow engine – this is a good option for large corporations that want to manage workflow via an intuitive web-based platform with detailed reporting capabilities, project management tools, and task lists. It’s also great if you plan on using workflow across multiple departments while still maintaining workflow automation for each department.
Workflow software tools are easy to use and can save you a significant amount of time, which means more work gets done in less time! No matter what type of workflow process your business requires, there’s a workflow platform that will suit your specific needs.
Automating tasks using a smartphone or tablet
Workflow automation is no longer just for laptops and desktops! You can now automate business processes on the go using a smartphone or tablet.
Many workflow engines have companion mobile apps that let you access your workflow tasks, update statuses, check off items as complete, etc. from anywhere at any time.
You can even use workflow automation software to monitor your business from a smartphone or tablet! For example, you could receive automatic alerts if something unusual occurs within your workflow process that needs attention.
The benefits of workflow automation for the workplace
Automating workflow tasks can help you increase productivity, save time and money by streamlining business processes. It also makes it easier to deliver a better customer experience because employees have everything they need at their fingertips when needed.
With workflow automation, businesses of all sizes – from small organizations to multinationals – can automate workflow tasks and save time while ensuring every workflow process flows smoothly.
Strategies for implementing workflow automation
First, you’ll need to decide which workflow software best fits your workflow process needs. There are lots of workflow automation tools on the market, so this can be a daunting task!
You might want to start by identifying what type of workflow tasks you currently use and how they’re completed within your company – for example, do employees complete workflow processes via email, in person, or through a workflow platform?
It’s also helpful to think about workflow tasks that could be automated but are currently done manually. This will help you understand what type of workflow automation software features would benefit your business the most so you can begin narrowing down which workflow engine is best for your workflow process needs.
For example, do workflow automation tools need to integrate with other workflow software or business applications?
If you want workflow tasks across departments and teams to be optimized, then workflow platforms are a good choice. If the workflow is only used in one department within your company, workflow engines might work better for you.
For example, if accounting processes all of the invoices for your company, workflow management tools might be best because workflow tasks can be completed automatically and workflow engines typically integrate with accounting software.
Once you’ve decided on which workflow automation tool is right for your business, it’s time to get started! You’ll need to create a workflow process diagram that outlines how work gets done today (the current workflow) and the workflow after workflow automation implementation.
You’ll also need to include communication plans for workflow software training and workflow process documentation if your workflow is automated using a workflow engine or work management tool.
Best way to get started with workflow automation
The best and easiest way to get started with workflow automation is to start with something small. You can always expand workflow automation capabilities as your company’s workflow processes become more sophisticated.
You might want to begin by automating a simple workflow process, such as approving time-off requests or expense reports submitted via email. This way you and other employees gain valuable experience with the workflow software before tackling bigger workflow tasks.
You’ll also have an opportunity to identify workflow process improvements and workflow software capabilities that you’ll want for future workflow automation implementations.
Workflow automation is a no-brainer if your goal is to save time and money while increasing efficiency, product quality, and customer service levels – all of which can help boost productivity.
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