What Is Process Automation in Project Management Software?

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Mar 29 2023 read

There are a lot of moving parts in a campaign, product launch or other project. Tasks have to be assigned and tracked. Assets have to be procured or created. People have to be informed and directed.

One way to make this process less of a headache for your project managers is to automate whenever possible. But what should you automate and how? 

Let's explore best practices for process automation as it relates to project management:

What Is Process Automation?

Automation is the assigning of repetitive or mundane tasks to machines or software. Since machines can complete tasks with little to no assistance from people, delegating them frees up a project manager's time for other essential assignments. 

You can probably imagine how automation works in a manufacturing and industrial context, but it can be harder to understand how to make it fit your particular client-based business.

Professional services businesses use automation in various ways to boost efficiency

What Is Project Management Automation?

Automation in project management is about replacing time-consuming administrative work to make tasks and collaboration happen more smoothly. You might choose to:

  • Implement a platform that makes it possible to send accurate quotes and auto-schedule tasks once you convert them into projects  
  • Eliminate email by moving all internal communication to a centralized space and using triggered notifications
  • Automatically gather time-tracking data on a dashboard to identify disparities in estimated vs. actual time spent

If you or your project manager have been frustrated by missed deadlines, overtaxed resources, delays or unexpected changes, it could be time to automate some key responsibilities.

READ NEXT: How Larson Accounting grew by 50% using Accelo’s Projects

Which Tasks Should I Automate?

Some tasks project managers commonly automate are task reminders, job intake and internal approvals.‌

When deciding on processes to automate and which to leave to people, ask yourself questions like: 

  • What are our most time-consuming manual administrative tasks?
  • Which processes are already well-documented and mapped out?
  • Which project tasks are often repeated with little to no variation?
  • Can those processes take place without human supervision?
  • What would happen if one of those tasks were completed improperly? How much of an effect on the project would it have?

Why Some Tasks Can’t Be Easily Automated 

You need a clearly defined path to make automation work, so processes that have holes or bottlenecks can’t be fixed with automation. Be sure your workflows are tightly in place before delegating them to software.

You’ll also need a coherent process for assigning different parts of each project to your staff. Without it, a platform could automatically delegate a task to a person who isn’t qualified or available to complete it, putting your project at risk for all sorts of problems and delays.

Consider some tips for effectively automating business processes.


Examples of Automation in Each Project Phase

1. Planning

In the planning phase, you’re defining scope and deliverables, identifying key stakeholders, developing a project plan, establishing a timeframe and more. Nearly every one of these areas offers an opportunity to benefit from automation.

Consider, for example, the burden of assigning project tasks. When you use Accelo for quoting, you can automate task assignments using one-click quote-to-project conversion.

The quote-to-project conversion button in Accelo is a user favorite.

2. Execution‌

Once a project is in motion, there are many tasks that could be ripe for automation in the areas of organizing workflows, tracking resources, updating stakeholders, monitoring performance and producing deliverables.

Automated project management software allows project managers to share updates with stakeholders and staff in real time. They can share progress and projections and know whether those projections need to shift based on automatically generated reports.

Automated calendar reminders and emails can also help keep people aware of deadlines or notify project managers as projects are completed, preventing scope creep. Some software even provides for the automatic production of certain documents or the application of email templates to make securing contracts or sending updates easier.

Accelo's Status Board clearly shows task assignments and statuses to keep your entire team aligned.

3. Monitoring‌

This phase should happen in tandem with execution, as a project manager needs to keep an eye on goal progress, communications, updates, data reporting and more.

Tasks during this phase include tracking KPIs, monitoring other tasks, reallocating resources and tracking progress on key deliverables. You’ll often need to make some changes in this phase as your project plan adapts to real-world execution. Automation can help greatly with keeping the team informed of these rolling changes.

For example, a smart automation tool can notify all the pertinent people about approvals, new suggestions left on a document or overdue tasks. With quick notice, the entire team adapts and responds more efficiently.

Monitor task status, remaining budgets and more in Accelo’s Projects view.

4. Closure‌

As your team reviews deliverables to make sure they meet quality standards, measures benchmarks against performance and identifies areas of potential improvement, automation can simplify common tasks: 

  • Assessing team performance
  • Evaluating how well resources were used
  • Reallocating unused resources
  • Reporting on key data 

When analytics are automatically gathered throughout a project, it’s easier to generate conclusions for a project review and identify adjustments that will be necessary for similar future projects. Automation can also facilitate easy collection of feedback from team members.

Accelo's utilization dashboard offers an accurate picture of your team capacity at any time.

➡️ Read why 3 Media Web says Accelo has “paid for itself many times over.”

Automate Your Next Project‌

Instead of seeking separate tools to automate each phase or responsibility, consolidate from the start with an end-to-end solution. Accelo was built to help service providers unite the client journey with built-in process automation. 

Intrigued? Give it a try for free or schedule a demo.‌ 


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

Schedule a Live Demo
Tailored to your business All questions answered
Request a Time
Accelo uses cookies to give you the best possible experience - by clicking 'Continue' you agree to our use of cookies. Refer to our Privacy Policy for details. Continue