Power Automate (1140x641)
Keok Tay (left) and Zhixian from NUS IT
Tan Keok Tay
Associate Director
Li Zhixian
Senior Manager

Power automating workflows

As the University continues its steady shift towards automation, there is an increased adoption of digital tools to enhance and optimise administrative processes.

In addition to Robotic Process Automation (RPA), tools such as MS Forms and Power Automate support staff in automating manual tasks and repetitive processes. Tan Keok Tay, Associate Director at NUS IT shared that MS Forms is an online form creator that can be integrated with Power Automate, a tool designed to automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows. “Power Automate reduces human errors and increases the accuracy of administrative tasks such as bulk emailing course admission letters,” Keok Tay added.

Jocelyn Teo, Assistant Manager from the Division of Graduate Medical Studies at NUS Medicine noted that Power Automate supports bulk emails sent with unique attachments for individual recipients; as well as automates the extraction of email attachments. “This feature is particularly useful when sending mass email invitations for teaching courses,” said Jocelyn who shared this solution with her department, and garnered positive feedback from colleagues. She added that accurate, updated Excel spreadsheets as well as multiple tests were required to ensure the creation of successful workflows. Overall, the automation of these manual and repetitive processes improved efficiency and increased time savings for the department.

Over at the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Faculty of Science, Lee Chooi Lan, Scientific Manager, shared that MS Forms was utilised for visitor registration to track lab capacity as part of COVID-19 safe distancing measures. “My colleagues and I also created a solution leveraging Power Automate to digitise ad-hoc requests from students and staff for their return to campus,” added Chooi Lan. With the elimination of hard copies and physical signatures, processing time for these requests was reduced from 3-5 days to only one day. Other benefits include privacy restrictions for enhanced data security, integration with Excel for auto updates and data analysis, as well as easy access to records online.

Digital tools such as MS Forms and Power Automate enable staff to reduce manual tasks and increase productivity, resulting in improved work processes and new opportunities created for professional development and career growth.

Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


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