What is process automation?
Process automation is a lot like a line of dominos – there is a beginning, a satisfying end, and a series of automated steps in between that get you there.
In a perfect world, process automation can result in a process that has a beginning and an end, with a series of automatically triggered and completed tasks in between. No friction, no stalling and (ideally) no humans involved.
Process automation is about minimising or eliminating manual and unnecessary steps that give processes that stop/start feel. It’s about automating tasks and decisions, completing tasks simultaneously rather than sequentially, and moving the process along automatically when something changes or completes, rather than the process waiting to be told where to go or what to do next. Process automation is the key to any digital transformation.
To be fair, not every process can be automated. Not easily at least. However, there can be plenty of benefit in automating the parts of the process that can be automated, being smart(er) about who you give the manual work to and when, as well as ensuring that the person with the task has as much context surrounding that task as possible, rather than expecting them to work it out for themselves.
Process automation is ultimately about flow, even when humans are involved…
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Each domino (task) knows nothing about the overall design that it plays an important part in, just that it’s time to get to work when its predecessor (neighbouring domino) is done, and that it has to keep the process moving (push the next domino along). Designed well, the domino chain can be as simple or complex as you need or want it to be, but without one action automatically triggering the next, it wouldn't have the same gloriously satisfying outcome.
So, process automation and digital transformation is ultimately about flow. Even when humans are involved, or steps can’t be automated, looking for points of friction that could result in the process stalling unnecessarily, and doing what you can to enhance, or at least monitor and manage those steps.
At Digital Experience Labs, we live and breathe process and architecture. As specialists in no-code automation and digital transformation and a lead partner of rules and workflow automation platform, Decisions, we've helped organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand redefine process automation and are here to help you define it for your business too.