Most of the processes in an organization are periodic in nature or have a cycle time, also called the critical path. When these tasks are performed manually, there is a significant cost associated with them. When these tasks are automated, the process becomes faster, more reliable, accurate, and efficient.
No matter the industry or size of a business, all share the goal of automating their workflow to achieve a wide range of benefits—from boosting efficiency, reducing errors, future-proofing, and gaining a competitive edge in a fast-paced environment. With that in mind, how do you automate your workflow with little-to-no coding involved in the process?
Steps to Take When Automating Without Coding
1. Define Your Company's Workflow
Before automating a workflow, it’s important to define how you want to automate it. To do this, refer to your business model and the design of your current processes. Your workflow should be documented, meaning that it should be in a logical and easy-to-follow format.
For example, your tasks may include order processing, product creation, customer service, web development, and social media marketing. Consider the data points gathered from these different departments and how you can use them to automate.
If your workflow hasn’t been defined in a way that suits your current requirements, use this as a chance to re-evaluate your business model and processes to decide how to better future-proof your organization.
2. Identify How Automation will Improve Your Operational Efficiency
Your workflow structure should reflect the most efficient way for your company to get work done in order to boost operational efficiency. Think about whether automation will help you with:
- Reducing costs
- Enhancing productivity
- Streamlining communication
- Improving visibility
- Maximizing time efficiency
- Reducing errors
- Achieving regulatory compliance
For example, imagine a car manufacturing company has multiple stages to their manufacturing process, including stamping, painting, and assembly. Defining a workflow, in this case, will help to reduce the workload of each employee by ensuring that each stage is completed in a timely manner, thus reducing the time and cost it takes to get the finished car out the door.
3. Identify Key Stakeholders
Key stakeholders are those people involved in the workflow to make it run smoothly. They are the ones who are most affected by your workflow structure, and it’s important to know how each person (and their role) fits into the process.
For example, your key stakeholders may include the project manager, the salesperson, and the customer service representative. When automating your workflow, it’s important to keep these key stakeholders in mind. If a key stakeholder is no longer involved in the process, you may need to take this into consideration when creating new processes.
4. Visualize Your Workflow in a Simple to Understand Diagram
To gain better visibility into your workflow structure and how each process is completed, visualize your workflow in a simple workflow diagram.
Visualizing your workflow visually allows you to better understand the workflow, and allows you to easily track the progress of each stage. These two factors allow you to pinpoint any problems and errors in your workflow without the need to physically go back and look over everything.
5. Download a Simple Automation Software to Get Started
After you have defined your workflow, identified your key stakeholders, and visualized your workflow in a diagram, it’s time to automate it. To do so, you’ll need to use a software program to automate your workflow.
There is plenty of affordable automation software out there, most of which can simplify your organization’s workflow by working with the tools you already use to get work done. When you integrate apps using simple automation software, you can automatically create, update, and monitor your tasks, with no coding required.
The Bottom Line: Automating Your Workflow Without Technical Coding Involved
Automating your workflow without coding is possible, but it’s important to remember that automating your workflow without technical coding involved can require a big shift in your understanding of process efficiency. With automated tools, your workflow has to be visualized so you can keep everything in one place and understand how it is all working together.
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