As we think about how technology aids knowledge distribution and transparency, I want to give a nod to the role workflow automation plays. If done correctly, this can streamline a team’s process and take away opportunities for confusion. Not to mention, for distributed teams, being able to alert people on their timelines, not the senders, is critical.
Workplace automation is about setting up automatic communication to track and respond to status or program changes. Anytime action X always causes action Y or requires person A to be notified, there’s an opportunity for automation to make your team’s life better.
Transparency. Everyone can see where a project is, the timeline things have happened, as well as what’s going to happen next. This takes away any confusion about the schedule or timeline and lets all relevant parties check in when they want to, without having to get unnecessary updates.
Less room for human error. Human communication is flawed. People go on vacations, updates don’t get sent on Friday afternoons,t hings get lost in someone’s inbox. A lot of things can happen. But by automating workflows, you take away as much of the friction as possible. While automation might seem too formulaic, with today’s tools there are so many ways to build a system that fits your needs.
Faster. Not unrelated to their being less room for error, “setting it and forgetting it” means everything happens faster and more seamlessly. This is critical for remote, distributed teams. If you have people working on one project several time zones away from each other, any delays in communicating program changes or evolutions can be magnified disproportionately when you combine normal human lags with changes in working hours.
Here’s a great blog on some tools that improve workflow automation and how they can help your team.