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The Do’s and Don’ts of Workflow Automation

Workflow automation is fast emerging as the new buzzword among companies of all shapes and sizes. There are many benefits to software based automation of business processes. Work efficiency improves, mistakes go down, and team coordination increases. But all these advantages follow only if the implementation is right. Let’s take a quick look at some of the best practices for workflow automation, along with the mistakes to guard against.


Analyze the current process
Before you initiate the implementation of workflow automation, you should always take an extensive look at the current working methodology. It is advisable you take help from experts to zero in on the improvement areas and prioritize their restructuring. You should be confident that the transition will be smooth and the overall business flow will not suffer.

Involve the team
Ultimately, your team members will be the ones most affected by the change, therefore involve them from the beginning. They should understand the benefits they will get out of it. Also, all the concerned team members must thoroughly understand how the new system works.

Allot ownership
Many people forget to count this in the list of best practices for workflow automation, but having a manager in charge of the overall workflow can be crucial for smooth operation of the process. When all requests and complaints go to one responsible person, the chances of miscommunications are minimized. It also helps in better reporting.

Be flexible
Just like any new system, workflow automation will need regular tweaking to perfectly fit your business need. You should take periodical feedback, especially in initial phases, and make necessary adjustments. It is also important to keep an eye on technological advancements that can improve your existing setup.


Try to automate too much too soon
Arguably the most prominent amongst workflow automation mistakes is the urge to automate too many processes at one go. When a business owner sees the success of automating one process, he or she is, more often than not, tempted to replicate it across the board. It is imperative that you take it slow and steady. Let your team get used to one process before moving on to the next.

Compromise on supporting hardware and software
Every business owner is wary of cost implications of new systems. Rightly so. But when it comes to workflow automation, it’s strongly recommended that you don’t compromise on software or hardware quality. If budgets are less, it’s better to wait or start small instead of choosing lower quality systems. In workflow automation, it is key to find cost effective solutions, rather than just low cost solutions.

Work without expert guidance
No matter how confident you feel about your knowledge, hire a technology expert to guide you through the process. You will not only get the best solution, a good guide will also help you save substantially. Troubleshooting and scaling up also gets a lot easier with the right advice.

Automate only ground level work
Along with knowing how to automate, you should also be aware of what all can be automated. The simple answer to this is that you can automate any process of your business, including the confidential and critical work, as long as it’s done right. An expert’s guidance comes in very handy in this decision making.

To summarize, workflow automation is a great tool for your business as long as you avoid the common workflow automation mistakes and take the correct approach towards its implementation.

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