Process automation (process management) means using technology to handle recurring processes or tasks where manual effort can be replaced. Many business processes and activities can be fully automated or partially automated with human intervention at strategic points within workflows. Production, marketing, sales, inventory control, IT, accounts, administration, and employee onboarding are some processes that can benefit from process automation.
Process management software accelerates work by sending information to the right people at the right time. Its major goal is to make processes more cost-efficient, transparent, error-proof, and streamlined. When processes are automated, organizations can implement best practices to improve overall operational efficiency.
Processes that can be automated are:
- Those that need to be error-free
- Those that require consistency across the organization
Key Capabilities of Process Management
The Chernobyl disaster, the world’s biggest nuclear accident, didn’t happen because there were no processes. It happened because people did not follow those processes. And back in 1999, NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because of metric confusion: one engineering team used imperial units while another used metric units. Both of these disastrous events could have been avoided if there was a system to make sure that the proper processes were followed.
Process management can help organizations avoid catastrophic human errors and inconsistencies. Here’s what it does:
- It improves compliance: Organizations adhere to laws and regulations and steer clear of large penalties and fees.
- It boosts collaboration: The software tracks processes, sends reminders, updates team members, and makes collaboration easier and seamless. And because it handles repetitive processes, it frees up time for employees to collaborate, speeding up work and spurring innovation.
- It gives management clear insights: Process management software allows team leaders to track projects and processes. They can see the exact steps in each process. They can use these insights to refine business processes for better outcomes.
- It makes work allocation easier: Employees are assigned work that matches their talents. When employees do what they love, they are happier with their work and organizations gain from each individual’s talent.
Why Should Organizations Adopt Process Management?
- To Reduce Operational Costs
In a competitive global marketplace, each business faces pressure to increase its profits. One of the best ways to achieve this is by reducing costs. But, most businesses find it hard to reduce costs as doing away with some processes can negatively impact the entire company. Process management software helps reduce costs while systematically enhancing customer service.
- To Boost Productivity
Process management software speeds up processes; work is completed faster and with less repetition. Automation of processes enables individuals to increase productivity by minimizing errors and increasing quality and speed. In some instances, organizations achieve outcomes that go beyond human capabilities.
- To Optimize Performance
Process automation saves businesses money by eliminating costly errors and streamlining processes. When business processes are streamlined, employees complete them more efficiently. Automation streamlines workflows and processes, providing better visibility on everything. It centralizes the data and helps boost performance.
- To Increase Reliability
While automation is praised for its productivity benefits, it also enhances reliability. Process automation software can handle complex tasks intelligently and dynamically, based on predefined parameters. Critical company functions are reliably executed by the software and employees are relieved of tedious, boring, and manual tasks.
Microsoft Azure’s customers experienced 10.5 hours of downtime simply because the standard deployment process wasn’t properly followed. With process management software, there’s no confusion, chaos, or unhappy users.
Key Features to Look for in Process Management Software
Process management software can help optimize business operations and boost performance. It boosts business performance by optimizing and managing business processes. For the best results, get process management software with the following features:
- Real-time monitoring
- Integration with existing software
- Project management
- Workflow management
- Comprehensive reporting
- Role-based routing
- Mobile support
- Dashboard widgets
- Drag and drop functionality for tasks
Process Management Best Practices
- Analyze and measure the work: Ensure you fully understand the processes before you implement any changes. Prioritize the important processes and implement improvements efficiently.
- Involve your employees: When implementing business process automation, ensure everybody knows how the changes will affect their work. Communication should be clear at all levels and staff should be part of the process.
- Talk to your customers: Listen to your customers because they have the best view of your business. They know what they want and the problems they face every day.
- Choose the best software for your needs: Is a systemic-centric tool better than a human-centric tool for your company? The best software for your company will depend on your needs.
Organizations that want to succeed now and in the future must have a competitive edge, and process automation gives them that edge. It ensures business systems run smoothly and efficiently. Errors are eliminated and best practices are constantly leveraged.