Chapter Six
The Ultimate Guide to Project Automation

Common Mistakes Made By Project Automation Beginners

Although project automation can add a ton of time back into your day, there’s still a lot of ways it can go wrong when implementing an automated workflow.

Here are some of the common project automation mistakes made by beginners:

  1. A Lack of Solid Communication.

    Many professionals and project managers make the mistake of thinking, “Our systems are automated, so there is no need for weekly meetings or daily stand-ups.”

    A lack of communication when managing a project will almost always result in a disastrous failure. It is still possible for project team members to get left out of the loop. There is also still a risk for using or relying on outdated information. Project expectations can also get misinterpreted or misunderstood. Therefore, it’s still important for project team members to practice solid communication.

    On the other hand, project automation can overly complicate communication. Many project automation software is designed and programmed to send notifications to team members in real time.

    Chances are likely that one particular team member may get hundreds of notifications. He or she isn’t likely to read through every single notification, which can cause a gap in communication.

    All in all, practicing open communication across a team is key for streamlining communication and keeping the entire team on the same page.

  2. Overcomplicating It.

    Again, some professionals may rely too much on project automation, which reduces the quality and time they put into proper project planning. A strong and clear workflow is one that ensures that every project team member knows where the project is going and the next steps in the process.

    It’s easy for an automated workflow to become overly complicated, and it’s essential for project managers to break workflows down in several stages. Each stage should involve the completion of a milestone within the project. Project milestones help keep the project on track and keep even the smallest of details top of mind.

  3. Misjudgment.

    Many project managers and professionals fail to recognize their teams’ limits. As previously mentioned, long, overly-complex workflows can be overwhelming for team members. Therefore, when building an automated workflow, it’s important to consider the needs of your team. This will help you build a workflow that is easy to follow, reasonable, and clear.

    In addition to milestones, workflows should also have approval checkpoints. These checkpoints involve an appointed team member to approve a project milestone or deliverable prior to moving onto the next phase. This failsafe allows the team to identify risks and catch problems before waiting until the project is finished.

  4. A Lack of Adaptability and Scalability.

    Many professionals and project managers build a workflow in a hurry, assuming it will become the end-all, be-all solution to disorganized projects, bottlenecks, and fragmented communication.

    Yes, automated workflows can certainly help streamline processes, but they should also be adaptable and scalable. Many teams find that they outgrow a workflow within six months of its implementation, putting project managers and other leaders back at square one.

    Automated workflows should be designed to adapt to growing teams and new information. This will ensure that your workflow will yield the best results for your team.