Rethinking your automation approach

As automation grows in scope and ability, more and more businesses look at how it could help them. But commonly, their automation approach is wrong. That is, they’re starting their automation journey with the wrong mindset.

An automation tool can automatically run your processes, but it doesn’t follow that it will automatically improve them. So, as counterintuitive as it may seem, automation itself should not be the starting point of your automation approach.

Instead, you need to go back to your processes. A successful approach analyses before it automates – and that requires more of a mindset change than you might first imagine.

The common automation approach

Your business has more tasks than it has people to handle those tasks. Those tasks mount, and this leads to questions of who will do them. Who should be responsible for all the unassigned jobs that need doing?

Presumably, you don’t have the budget to hire unlimited personnel. So, most businesses turn their attention to business process automation software. A logical and legitimate conclusion, right?

The problem is that starting with ‘who’ is fundamentally the wrong way of looking at the resource problem. You’ve arrived on automation as the solution, but you’ve done so from an unhelpful angle.

It’s more beneficial to forget the ‘who’ element of your resource challenges. Go back to the drawing board and start with ‘how’. That is, ask yourself how you should get those draining processes done. You’ll still land on automation as the answer to your problem, but you’ll do so in a way that paves the way for business process improvement.

Shifting the view

Asking ‘how’ splits your business workflows up into the individual processes and tasks they comprise. This gives you the opportunity to review the workflow from end to end and find areas both to automate and to optimise. (Or even oust altogether.)

Then, when you’ve reviewed the workflow, you can see how automation will best work across it. It might be the case that your automation tool can handle the entire workflow. Or it might make sense to use automation to handle some of the more routine tasks within that workflow. That is, the repetitive and manual-intensive processes that eat into employee time.

This automation approach is a more effective fit for your business. Rather than automated silos, automation weaves its way in and out of your workflows — in a way that’s both better planned and more holistic.

Change your automation approach

Daily workflows across every department are full of small repetitive tasks. Your teams perform them every day, as part of a bigger workflow process and more complex daily challenges.

When these tasks expand and burden your team, don’t ask who should be handling them. Focus on how to handle them. In other words, a good automation approach will start by assessing your company work and how best it should be done.

In short, improving your business processes isn’t a ‘who’ question, it’s a ‘how’ question.

Weave in automation

Weave automation into workflows with ThinkAutomation. We offer a 30-day free trial, so why not download and start seeing how you can improve your processes?