Automating laborious workflows, or business processes, can vastly improve the way your business functions. Digitizing repetitive tasks can reduce paperwork, eliminate unnecessary human involvement, and cut down on process bottlenecks—leading to increased efficiency and improved results.
But there’s a catch:
You have to choose the right workflow automation software. Effective workflow management depends on use of digital tools that truly streamline tasks through appropriate features and functionalities.
If you’re ready to create better workflows, make sure the automation software you adopt offers these 6 features:
#1: Intuitive Builder
Workflow automation begins and ends with an easy-to-use form builder (or workflow design tool). An effective automation platform uses intuitive technology that anyone can master, such as a drag-and-drop form builder. It also includes agile features that allow for quick iterations, such as preview and edit tools.
#2: Access Controls
Increased data accuracy can be a big benefit of workflow automation. The best automation software helps keep your data accurate through access control functionality, which allows you to assign workflow steps to specific users and set who can view and edit each step.
#3: Participant Alerts
To keep your workflow moving along smoothly, implement a tool that notifies or alerts users when it’s their turn to participate. Simple notification emails can be sent as soon as a workflow step is ready for a user, allowing the user to complete the step right away.
#4: Relevant Integrations
Tools that can fully automate your workflow—beyond the workflow automation software itself—are the most effective. Find a tool that seamlessly connects to other platforms to send your data where it needs to go (such as a CRM, email marketing platform, or Google spreadsheet).
#5: Workflow Tracking
The ability to monitor your workflow and quickly spot bottlenecks is valuable. Effective workflow automation software offers features that give your workflow visibility, such as a step timer to indicate how long each step is taking or a progress indicator to display which step is active at a given moment.
#6: Data Security
Data security breaches are becoming commonplace these days, so it’s important to ensure your workflow automation software provides key security features. To protect the data you collect, use software that has browser security, database encryption, password protections, and more.
With the right tool, your path to effective workflow automation should be smooth. If you’re ready to implement an online workflow management tool, Formstack’s Workflows form builder add-on offers all the above features and more (watch a video introduction here). If you’re not quite ready for a software commitment, we can still help. Click below to take our business process management quiz, which will analyze your workflows and offer productivity tips.