Your boss just asked if you would manage a new project.
The project involves the production of a prototype for a new product. Your company doesn’t really have a process in place for developing prototypes, so part of your mission is to also build and document a process for managing and producing prototypes in the future.
What an exciting opportunity!
But there’s just one problem: You don’t really have a tool in place to help you manage the project.
So, you begin researching some tools to help you manage your projects more efficiently.
You select a tool that supports a visual workflow. After all, you have read that a visual workflow is easy to learn, adopt, and implement.
After recruiting your project team and educating them about the goal of the project, it’s time to get to work.
Getting the team acclimated to working with one another certainly had its challenges in the beginning, which was to be expected.
You were optimistic that things would improve, but they didn’t…
Files are getting lost. Project team members are pulling disappearing acts. You are out of the loop on project communication. And you have no idea when tasks are completed—or if they are completed at all!
You spend an unspeakable amount of time each day trying to “chase” team members for task updates than actually managing the project.
Your project is failing, and your project team, your boss, and the entire company are counting on you!
What do you do?!
Before you stress, know that there is a solution: automation.
In this article, we will outline the key benefits of building automation in projects, and why the best managers do it.
The Challenges with Project Management, Technology, and the Future
No, this isn’t another blog about robots…
Let’s get something straight right now: No, you will not be replaced by a robot.
However, robots do offer the opportunity to help us in many ways—ways we may not have otherwise imagined (other than maybe what we have seen on The Jetsons).
Like it or not, the truth is machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and natural-language processing (NLP)—all different types of robots—play a huge role in our future, and that goes for the future of project management.
Despite the fact that most educated and forward-thinking managers are aware that AI and robots will help rather than hurt jobs and the workplace, many still struggle with the concept of working with robots and AI.
One of the key challenges that many project managers face today is the breakdown of the traditional workplace structure. Today’s workforce has become incredibly decentralized. More and more workers are becoming self-employed, working remotely, allowing them the flexibility to work anytime, and from anywhere.
Managing remote teams is certainly a challenge for project managers. Project managers want to tackle these challenges and focus on the opportunities that today’s workplace brings to projects.
However, with accepting those challenges and embracing those opportunities, organizations must adopt and understand emerging technology, and also how to see the most value from it. This is what put the best managers at the forefront, and help them stand out from the rest.
The Top 8 Benefits of Building Automation in Projects
Here are the top benefits of building automation in projects:
Saves Time and Money.
Perhaps one of the most common and obvious benefits of building automation in projects is that automation saves significant time and money when implemented correctly.
In fact, studies actually show that 20 percent of organizations that adopt automation technology and build automation in their projects and processes report at least 15 percent cost savings.
Depending on the automation solution you choose to adopt and implement, the cost savings likely outweigh the cost of implementation, increasing overall ROI.
Project and task automation increases efficiency because it reduces and sometimes even cuts out the repetitive, manual day-to-day tasks.
Not only does this save you time and money as indicated in the previous point, but it also increases efficiency. This means you spend less time on performing manual tasks, allowing you to focus on real project management or growing other areas of your business.
Provides a Scalable Solution.
If you are like many managers and have spent time building processes that you and your team outgrow in less than a year, or six months, then you can greatly benefit from building automation in your projects.
With an automated workflow in place, you can “set it and forget it.” Your automation will work in the background, regardless of volume or the number of tasks and steps involved, providing you and your team with a scalable solution that you have to worry about changing every few months.
Enhances Process Execution.
Many managers in various organizations have great ideas, but few know how to execute them and turn those ideas into reality. This is where automation can help.
With an automated workflow already built and programmed, execution relies less on a project team member actually putting it into action; rather, the task or project just happens like clockwork when it enters the production pipeline.
Mitigates Project Risks.
Even the simplest, visual workflows have project drop-off, or hand-off points. These points are where project risks are highest, even when managed by the most diligent and detailed project manager.
Rather than spending valuable time figuring out where certain project tasks are in the process, automation can automatically move one task from one phase of the project into another, without the need for human interaction. This mitigates project hand-off risks significantly, and saves the project manager’s time from constantly checking on the status of a project or task.
Increases Reporting Accuracy.
In addition to increasing efficiency and streamlining processes, automation also makes it easier for managers to check project status. Gone are the days of complex, clunky reports that don’t provide the insights that project managers need to see to effectively manage their projects. (Yes, we mean you, Excel spreadsheets…)
Streamlines and Simplifies Complex Processes.
One of the most common mistakes that managers make when building project automation is that they overcomplicate and make processes more complex than what they really need to be. Automation not only streamlines processes but it also keeps things simple, which is crucial to project management.
Improves Sanity for Project Teams.
By making processes as easy as possible for team members, you can help them maximize their productivity levels. With an easy, automated process, team members can focus more on the quality of their work and getting sh*t done rather than wasting time trying to figure out and follow the process.
Accelerate Your Projects with Automation
All in all, if you and your team are struggling with finding the right process, and are tired of wasting time on processes that don’t work, or that just cause more confusion, then automation just might be the answer to all your problems.
Automated processes offer organizations new chances to enhance process execution and take advantage of critical cost savings while also boosting ROI. And the best managers embrace technology, particularly machine-learning technology and AI, and see through the challenges to focus on the opportunities.