The Starter’s Guide To Process Automation
The best companies use process automation to be more effective and efficient, and those that are not, are wasting time and effort.
Keep reading to learn:
- How your process can help your organization
- How to map your processes
- The basics of process automation.
Bonus: read until the end to discover the 4-step framework to create any kind of content.
GET YOUR FREE COPY OF THE STARTER’S GUIDE TO PROCESS AUTOMATION
SOME CLARITY ABOUT PROCESSES
When talking about processes the tendency is to overcomplicate things, associating them to the corporate world.
Reality is companies and teams of any size operate using process.
Every time a sales reps closes a deal, a customer success rep makes an upsell or when you write and publish a blog post, there’s a process in place.
And to make sure those processes are optimized and effective, they should be mapped out.
5 STEPS TO MAP YOUR PROCESSES
Process mapping is not rocket science.
All you need is a pen and paper, and you can get it done following this simple framework.
Step 1 — Define Your Goals: processes should always be result-oriented, so the first thing you need to ask is: what are we trying to accomplish?
Step 2 — Spot The Trigger: what’s the event that “activates” the process?
Step 3 — Define Key Activities: anything that happens between the trigger and the goal, keep it high level. Your first draft could look something like this.
Step 4 — Get into details: deep dive into the process details, defining activities, responsible, and timeframes.
Step 5 — Make it sharable: once you have all you need, turn it into something you can share with your team. You can use presentations, diagrams, or process management software.
You can learn more about mapping your processes in The Starter’s Guide To Process Automation. Get your free copy by clicking the link below. GET YOUR FREE COPY OF THE STARTER’S GUIDE TO PROCESS AUTOMATION
PROCESS AUTOMATION 101
Automating your processes can help you increase your organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.
All you need to do is pick the right software, and this section will provide you with some guidelines to help you.
Process automation software can be split between:
- Generic automation software: help you automate the workflow management (notifications, reminders).
- Vertical automation software: help you automate the execution of the tasks themselves (email nurturing, content distribution, follow-ups).
So, which category should you start looking into?
There’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer since it heavily depends on the stage your organization is at.
As a rule of thumb: the more advanced your organization is and the more complex the process is, the more specialized (vertical) the software should be.
To use content creation as an example:
while a startup, just starting with content marketing (2/3 people — low volume) should go with a process management software (cheaper and multifunctional) a business with relevant content marketing operations (4/5 people — 3/5 pieces of content per week) should definitely look for a content marketing software (helps organize, create and distribute content).
Keep in mind that process management and “vertical” automation software are not alternative but complementary since the former can always help you to organize and automate “horizontal” processes, that involve multiple areas.
A PROCESS TO CREATE ANY KIND OF CONTENT
Working with dozens of content producers (agencies, businesses, media companies) we identified a simple process you can use to create any kind of content.
Brief, draft, feedback, and editing: of course each content type will require specific activities and skills but follow these 4 steps and everything will get much easier.
Step 1 — The Brief: the brief is the roadmap for your process, containing information about what the content is about, why it matters to your audience, benchmarks, and resources to use for content creation and so on.
Step 2 — The Draft: this is where you give a first go at your content. This phase should be all about creativity and you should focus on finding a unique and original way to convey the message framed in the brief.
Step 3 — Feedback: feedback sessions make sure thinks are on track, allowing you to correct mistakes as they happen and prevent rework. Ideally, you should run a feedback session when the task at hand is 50% completed.
Step 4 — Editing: this phase is about smoothening the rough edges and come up with the final piece of content. Namely, here’s where you cut, copyedit, and refine. Also, whatever content you are producing, edit it with distribution in mind.
We talked about:
– How to map your processes
— How to automate your process and
— How to use processes to create any kind of content
and I think we can all agree that processes are everywhere and can help us do more with less.
With a solution based on 4 pillars (Planning; Creation; Distribution; Analysis), Workflow allows you to take control of your content process, with a laser focus on productivity and operational scale.
Up to you now: what processes does your company have in place and what software do you use to organize, streamline and automate them?
Originally published at https://blog.contentools.com.