Process automation is the core of today’s business/enterprise software.
Workflow automation, the automation of a business or organizational process, is found in most enterprise software applications and systems. Enterprise software is process-oriented in general, and it orchestrates a set of individual tasks that humans perform, along with bringing as much automation into the process as possible. The individual tasks may be quite different, and represent various stages and steps in a process.
“Workflow” refers to the flow of work. Workflow automation aims to streamline and facilitate that flow. Well designed workflow automation will buttress a process, so that it runs smoothly, efficiently, and reliably. Things don’t slip through the cracks, because the system is monitoring tasks, their proper sequencing and routing, and deadlines, and will automatically take action if things start to falter – such as redirecting a task to another person or notifying a manager to step in. Workflow is designed to be helpful to the users, and not a burden – making the worker’s and the manager’s life a lot easier. It automates the logging and tracking of tasks, and maintains all data and calculations so they never have to be re-entered or redone. The system maintains appropriate security and confidentiality, but, further, the users only see what applies and is useful to them. They are not distracted by extraneous information and features, and, what’s more, the top priority tasks and issues are brought to the forefront. The goal is to automate fully what can and should be automated, giving people more time and energy to use their skills and creativity. The system will also bring relevant information to the users’ fingertips, even pre-digesting it if possible.
Articles by Patrick Russell on Workflow: