Automating processes to improve your work and your life
I wish I had more time. We’ve all shared this sentiment at some point. Maybe on vacation we wished we had more time to spend at the beach. More time to spend with our families. Or maybe it’s Sunday night and we wish the weekend was a day longer.
The good news is, no matter what you wish you had more time to do, automating processes can give you that time to do what you want, improving your work and life as a result.
The Harvard Business Review, which I follow like a little kid watching his favorite television show, recently published a video – The Upside of Automating Part of Your Job – which showcases a study estimating 30 percent of activities could be automated, which would save about 1.5 days each week.
Personally speaking, finding an extra 12 hours a week would help me focus on the few projects that would add significant value to my role, not to mention relieve the stress of finding time to finish those projects.
And with reduced stress, I feel better. It’s a win-win.
The purpose of automation
The benefits of automation are pretty straightforward. You complete tasks easier, faster and better.
But I’ve heard concerns over the negative impacts of job automation, like replacing human workers. The HBR study finds that fewer than 5 percent of jobs could be automated completely. I think of the self-checkout lines at retail stores and supermarkets. Although I despise the self-checkout machines, a handful of shoppers can make a purchase without a cashier. However, there is always a cashier watching in case you need assistance. By definition, a cashier’s job cannot be completely automated.
It’s not about replacing people, it’s about helping people be more productive and spend time on higher-value tasks. If you own a small business, like my mother, you might want to spend less time balancing cash register drawers and more time building your business, training staff members or even taking an overdue vacation.
That’s why we turn to technology like workflow, because it’s a tool to streamline processes, helping people spend more time on tasks that drive value for their organizations. More time to collaborate, create new strategies and think of new product ideas – sounds like an easy decision to me.
How to automate tasks
In my world of content and information management, we help organizations automate predictable, repeatable tasks with business process management and process automation technology. Put simply, when you automate tasks, you work more efficiently.
When you need to route documents, make rules-based decisions, balance workloads or send notifications, business process management tools are the way to go. You easily capture, store, access and route content to the appropriate team members with full transparency into the process status.
No more paper, no more wading through files, no more waiting. Simplify, streamline and improve your work life to preserve your sanity.
Case management for unpredictable, situation-specific work
However, not every situation or task is straightforward – so you can’t fully automate every step. For more complicated and unstructured work, like facilities project management, contract management, HR onboarding and incident resolution, case management software can complement process automation technologies by managing all the human-driven tasks, conversations and activities surrounding these events.
Case management solutions are designed to support the “knowledge worker” and unpredictable, information-centric work which helps create better experiences for customers and employees alike.
In fact, my colleague, Amanda Ulery, recently wrote a great blog – 5 signs you need a case management solution – sharing when it’s beneficial to use a case management solution. Because a great deal of work can’t be fully automated, she explains how case management tools can help organizations better manage their content, information and processes.
Using technology to be more productive, less stressed and have a more enjoyable day? Sign me up!