Fixing the Flaws in Workflows

A year ago, in February 2021, I published this blog post about workflows. I described strategies you can use to streamline your business processes and boost productivity. A year later, here’s an update on why revamping workflows remains relevant. Automating and digitizing workflows is key to a competitive future for your company. That’s because automated workflows address several major challenges modern companies are facing. In the rest of this post, I’ll explain why and how this works.

Complexity in Workflows

You probably juggle a lot of considerations when you move through a workflow at work. There are often various policies, databases, individuals, and goals involved. It’s hard to get everyone on the same page. As this article about digitizing financial workflows explains, that’s an issue you can address through workflow automation software. This software can negotiate between various rules, teams, messages, and documents to get you results. (At least, Pyrus can do that.)

Workflow automation software simplifies all that. It lets you save time and money by automating many parts of your workflows. What’s more, the Pyrus solution offers seamless integrations with the business software you already use. That means it’s simple to incorporate into your work. And at Pyrus, employees’ experience with the software is simplified too. That’s because Pyrus values user experience and designs for it, as I described in this blog

Are Your Processes Cluttered?

Another common issue is clutter, but not the kind you’re thinking of. Yes, stacks of documents can certainly clutter up your workspace. But having too many business processes can clutter up your time too! This article is inspired by the minimalist approach to reducing clutter. It contains advice for decluttering your workflows to clear the way for productivity.

First, consider the approach you might take to physical clutter. You’d want to get rid of items that don’t serve you anymore. Then, you’d probably want to organize what remains. Similarly, you should start by identifying unnecessary business processes. One great example is printing and filing hard copy documents. Eliminating that process and keeping your documentation digitized will serve your company better. You’ll free up space, free up time, and reduce the risk to data security. (More on that later.)

Once you’ve identified those processes you need to keep, organize them by automating workflows. It’s okay to start small and just automate one process at a time. However you tackle the job, revisit it often. As your company’s goals and needs change, so should your workflows. Evaluate your workflows regularly to make sure they’re not getting cluttered again.

One of the best benefits of this effort matches the gain from physical decluttering. When your space is clearer, you feel calmer. Decluttering business processes likewise decreases stress in the workplace. And if you’re a manager, you probably know that’s key to managing teams during this pandemic.

Cybersecurity Risks

Sometimes, workflows are not optimized for cybersecurity. As I explained in this recent blog post, cyber attacks are on the rise. Companies need to prioritize protecting sensitive data. Luckily, automating your workflows can help you do just that.

This article from Forbes suggests important strategies to achieve this goal. For instance, you can automate document classification in existing workflows. This requires first identifying the categories of documents you deal with at work. Which ones contain sensitive information? How do you know if a document is a duplicate? Once you’ve answered these questions, make sure you’re up to date on all data regulations. You’ll want to know the relevant laws and company policies.

Then, revamp your workflows. Harness workflow automation software to categorize your documents. Make sure that documents with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are treated with extra protection. On the other hand, get redundant or obsolete documents out of the way. There’s no need to store extra data. Improving your data security should be a coordinated effort. With a software solution like Pyrus, you can link members of various teams together in workflows. That means members of the legal team can support those in the financial department with cybersecurity. You’ll be able to keep your data as secure as possible across all business processes.

Crisis Response and Recovery

The global COVID-19 pandemic is now entering its third year. If we’ve learned anything in this time, it’s how to persevere through a crisis. This article suggests that being smart about your workflows can help you navigate rough waters.

lifesaverWhen crises come up, having access to current, accurate data matters. For instance, if a storm leads to supply chain issues, you’ll need data to solve the problem. You’ll want to know where the storm hit, who’s affected, and what resources are still operational. Working data-driven monitoring into workflows means that you can adapt to unexpected circumstances.

You can also create recovery plans in advance of any disaster. That way, if some part of your business process falls through, you’ll know your back-up plan. To work well regardless of circumstances, you’ll want to rely on flexible solutions for workflow automation. Fortunately, that’s an advantage boasted by Pyrus.

Coordinating Workflows with Goals

Finally, you may find that your workflows are moving smoothly, but they don’t align with your big picture goals. That’s an issue! This article outlines a simple strategy to keep workflows productive.

Start by defining your big goals. (If you struggle with that, consult this earlier post about goal-setting.) Once you know the target, predict what milestones you’ll need to meet. Then, create or update workflows to move your teams towards those goals. Think about the role each workflow plays in the effort. Finally, ensure that the tasks in your workflows make sense. Delegate them wisely, and you’ll be up and running. You should hit your goals in no time!

Whether you’re struggling with complexity, clutter, cybersecurity, crisis response, or goal alignment, you need a great workflow automation solution. Check out Pyrus’s Workflow Automation Solution. With this simple, secure, and flexible tool, you’ll be able to move your work forward.