Leveraging Automation and Technology for Procedures

Mar 11, 2024 | Administrative Professionals, Procedures, Productivity

When it comes to developing, updating, and sharing your procedures, automation and technology can be invaluable resources. As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more prevalent in virtually every field, those who embrace it will find themselves significantly ahead of the game.

There are many benefits to leveraging technology in procedures. It helps reduce time and effort, accommodates more complex procedures and processes, and makes it easy for remote teams to work together.

Many administrative professionals are still hesitant to experiment with automation and AI tools. Some think the learning curve is too steep; others believe that the emerging technology will eventually replace them, and they don’t want to speed up what they see as an inevitable “rise of the robots.”

But taking advantage of the tools at your disposal doesn’t mean you ultimately become replaceable. It simply means that you can work more efficiently and course-correct more quickly when something needs to be adjusted – and it won’t be such a manual, clunky process to change the things that need changing.

Just as we have evolved from typewriters to handheld computers, procedures development has evolved from printed instructions next to each workstation to digitally automated instructions that can be accessed from anywhere. And that’s a good thing!

The Role of Automation in Procedures Development

Automation tools can help streamline your procedures by using templates, automated workflows and standardized processes. These tools help provide consistency and accuracy, reduce human error, and ensure that the end product will be the same regardless of who performs the task.

One of our favorite tech tools for enhancing our procedures is Teamwork, a project management app that keeps me and my fully remote team on the same page. In Teamwork, we can create task lists that break down our procedures into manageable chunks,  and assign those chunks to various team members. At any given time, we can see exactly where we are on any Teamwork task, including what’s done and what needs to be tackled.

Other popular project management tools include Asana, Basecamp, Trello, ClickUp, and Monday.com. Each has their own list of features to help support procedures management. If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest you play around with each option and get a feel for which one will work best for your company’s specific needs.

One thing to look for in a project management system is the way it integrates with your existing CRM, ERP, HR systems, etc. Choosing something that integrates seamlessly will make the learning curve shorter for everyone who uses it.

One of the things I love most about Teamwork, for instance, is that it integrates with email. So instead of my team having to log into the website each time, task assignment and completion notices can be managed through email.

When you choose the right tools for the job and ensure that your staff understands how to use them, automation is easier than ever!

The Automation of a Procedure: From 10 Years Ago to Today

The first step to automating a procedure is to get it out of your head and document it digitally or on paper. Writing things down will help you organize your thoughts, streamline processes, and find efficiencies. From there, you can create order from chaos.

Once the procedure is on paper, you can automate it for consistent ongoing use. Whether that’s a third-party project management tool like Teamwork, Trello, or ClickUp, or leveraging the functionality of Microsoft Office apps like Outlook Tasks or Project, you can convert more complex processes into templates that can be used repeatedly.

Here’s an example from my team:

This was how I outlined our 5-day challenge system on paper the first time we did one 10 years ago.

We used this as our guide to execute a couple 5-day challenges and streamlined the process each time we did one. Then we converted this to a type-written procedure our team could follow.

That was helpful, but with so many moving parts, we quickly realized it would be more useful to set up this process in our Teamwork project management system where we could assign team members and start dates and due dates for each component of the system.

Today, we have a template in Teamwork that includes every single step required to execute a 5-day challenge — from concept development to marketing to delivering the training and wrapping up the event when it finishes.

This is the section for the free webinar preparation by the speaker.

This is what’s required to set up the free webinar so people can register.

Based on this template, we can create a new task list in Teamwork, choose the start date and, with the click of one button, all 66 tasks in this system for running a 5-day challenge are scheduled and assigned to our team members.

It’s a game changer! Nothing gets missed or overlooked from start to finish, and automation made it all possible.

It’s Time to Embrace Automation and Technology!

A documented procedure is still a procedure, no matter how rudimentary it may be. By adopting automation, AI, and technology, you’re making a good thing better. Even the smallest steps now can make a huge difference down the road!

Would you like some help creating your administrative procedures?

Join us for the 5-Day Procedures Blitz beginning March 26!

We Have Even More Procedures Development Resources For You Here!

© 2024 Julie Perrine International, LLC

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Julie Perrine is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures, and Prove Your Skills! With a Powerful Professional Portfolio.

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