AUTOMATION IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Automation can greatly benefit project management and team productivity.
By automating repetitive and manual tasks, teams can focus on more important work that requires human skills and expertise. This saves time, reduces errors and improves overall efficiency.
Moreover, automating project processes can provide real-time updates and insights into project progress and performance.
This can help teams identify potential issues early on and make informed decisions to mitigate risks and optimize project outcomes.
MICROSOFT POWER AUTOMATE
One of the benefits of using Power Automate is that it allows you to connect and automate processes across a wide range of different apps and services, not just within the Microsoft Office 365 suite.
This means you can use a vast library of pre-built connectors (List of supported connectors | Microsoft Power Automate) to integrate and automate processes with popular project management tools like Asana, Trello, Jira and more, as well as other apps and services that your team uses regularly.
By automating processes and integrating data across different apps, you can improve collaboration and streamline workflows.
This will reduce errors, save time and improve productivity by making it easier for your team to collaborate on projects without having to switch between different platforms.
HOW IT WORKS
Power Automate flows are based on triggers and actions.
- A trigger starts the flow, for example, receiving an email from an important contact.
- An action is what happens once the flow is triggered. In this example, the flow will copy the email attachment to SharePoint and send a notification to you on Microsoft Teams. A flow can have one or more actions.
Power Automate makes use of the following types of flows:
- Cloud flows are those that you can create from the Power Automate webapp and include the following types:
- Automated- a flow triggered by an event. For example, send a notification on Teams if an item in a SharePoint list is changed.
- Instant flows- allow users to manually trigger a flow from the mobile or desktop app with the click of a button. An example is being able to easily send a reminder email to your team before a meeting.
- Scheduled- which runs at certain times.
- Desktop flows are used to automate tasks on the web or your desktop with Power Automate Desktop using Robotic Process Automation.
- Business Process flows are based on a defined set of actions to help people complete tasks faster and with fewer errors.
Power Automate provides a vast library of templates (Power Automate Templates) to help you get started with creating automated workflows quickly and easily.
These templates are designed for specific purposes, such as sending notifications, collecting data, automating approval processes and more.
By exploring these templates, you’ll get a sense of what’s possible with Power Automate and how it can help you streamline your work.
The templates provide a starting point for creating customized workflows that meet your unique needs and requirements.
5 FLOWS FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT
These are some great examples of how Power Automate can be used to streamline and automate various business processes.
1. Approvals Management
With Power Automate you can create a customized flow that automates your request and approval process.
For instance, when someone submits a response to a Microsoft Form, you can use Power Automate to automatically start an approval process.
You can also use Power Automate to post a message to your Teams channel and ask team members for approval when you upload a file, saving time and improving the team’s workflow.
This is particularly useful in scenarios like project approvals from management, purchase approvals from finance, managing leave requests and reimbursement requests etc.
We actively use Power Automate for managing approvals at Z Ware.
2. Notifications Management
Flow can help you deal with an overwhelming email inbox.
The number of notifications and alerts across multiple systems can make it hard to keep track of everything.
Having a focused list of notifications in Microsoft Teams can help users stay on top of what they need to do.
Using Flow to filter your emails and notifications is a great way to stay organized and reduce the number of distractions in your workday.
By setting up filters, you can ensure that you only receive notifications in Teams for the most important messages, helping you stay focused on certain tasks.
3. Document Management
Power Automate can be a powerful tool for ensuring that project files are consistently stored in a central location.
By automating the process of moving or copying files to your shared document library, you can eliminate the need for manual intervention and reduce the risk of human error.
This improves efficiency and productivity, while ensuring that all stakeholders have access to the latest project documentation.
Flow can automate the process of saving email attachments to a cloud storage location of your choice, making it easier to access and manage your files.
This can be especially useful if you receive a lot of attachments and want to avoid the hassle of manually downloading and saving them.
With Flow, you can set up a rule that will automatically save attachments to a designated folder, without any extra effort on your part.
With Power Automate, you can create a flow to archive content and data automatically.
You can specify the criteria for different data types and set up rules for content owners to review and approve the action.
This can help you comply with internal retention policies and make it easier to find archived content when you need it.
By automating the archiving process, you can save time and reduce the risk of errors.
5. Daily task management
Planner is great for assigning tasks, setting deadlines and tracking progress in Teams.
However, people often forget to look at the Planner tab.
Team members spend time messaging or emailing others to say they have completed a task.
That’s a great use case for Flow!
By automatically posting updates to the team when tasks are completed, team members will stay informed of progress without having to constantly check the Planner tab.
This improves communication within the team.
Overall, Power Automate is a fantastic tool that can streamline project management, improve communication and enhance team collaboration, all essential factors for success in today’s fast-paced and remote work environments.