What is Workflow Management?

We are made to automate! What is workflow management?

Main takeaways

  • Workflow management means identification, organisation and coordination of a particular set of tasks in order to receive specific outcomes.
  • Workflow automation allows to visualise processes, identify bottlenecks and improve its efficiency.
  • Automation helps businesses to be ahead of competition.
What is Workflow Management?

Workflow management is a commonly used technique among many companies and private users. It is mainly used for optimising, improving, and automating workflows which results in eliminating errors, faster processing times and getting rid of repetitions.

What Is Workflow Automation?

Workflow Automation is a specifically designed flow which completes tasks according to previously designed order. Automated workflows perform jobs one after another, however can also accomplish them in parallel. Automated approach routes jobs between people and applications based on predefined rules. The main goal is to complete tasks without or minimal human involvement.

Why Should I Use Workflow Management?

Workflow management allows you to perform and complete given tasks much faster and reduces the possibility of making errors. It also allows you to visualise and monitor processes via diagram. It is a very efficient way of work, which allows you to minimise or completely remove repetitive tasks and saves your time. Thanks to user friendly schematic visualisation helps you to easily follow processes and identify bottlenecks.

Why Do Companies Need a Workflow Management System?

A well automated business can be way ahead of their competition. In the modern world it is crucial to provide high quality services with fast outcomes. Automated Workflows help to increase customer satisfaction as well as increase employees efficiency and morals. Below you can find some of the benefits of workflow management.

Reduce Time Spent On Repetitive Tasks

Time is a very valuable asset. Whereas money is recoverable, it is not valid for time. Once lost it is impossible to regain it. Repetitive tasks automation allows you to focus on things that are more important to you.

From a business perspective faster services can increase revenue and customer satisfaction. It is time consuming to build a proper Automated Workflow, however once done properly it will serve you well for years.

Minimise costs

Time is money. This frequently spoken phrase applies here as well. By reducing time spent on performing tasks you can increase the volume of work completed every day.

Work indefinitely

Automated workflows give you the opportunity to work 24 hours, 7 days a week. The tasks don’t have to wait for you in order to finalise them anymore. Once receiving the request the automated system gets the job assigned and completes it as per predefined rules.

Too Many Spreadsheets And Excel Files

Manual work varies from employee to employee. Every person works in a slightly different way. While working individually is not a problem, working in teams brings some organisational problems. One of them is many spreadsheets which cause headaches due to its amount. Workflow management is very transparent and reduces the number of documents in streamline because applications or softwares communicate with each other directly, without human involvement.

Predict Failures And Bottlenecks

Due to system transparency it is easy to follow the flow of work. Easy-to-read diagrams allow you to find potential bottlenecks, monitor and anticipate errors.

Workflow Management vs. Project Management vs. Business Process Management

What is Project Management

Project management is slightly different to workflow management. Project may refer to specific events to prospect for clients while a workflow could be the steps you take to onboard new clients.

Projects tend to have flexible structures and open assignments with possibility for editing and changing. It’s also worth noting that projects tend to be temporary. Unlike workflow management once achieving an objective the project ends.

What is Business Process Management

Business Process Management (BPM) is a process in which a company performs its day-to-day operational tasks. BPM systems provide a much broader view of all the processes in the organisation. BPM provides the organisation with advanced reporting datasets, notifications, analytics, custom dashboards, and self-monitoring of all connected processes.

Workflow process contains multiple tasks, owned by multiple people and only tracks individual goals, while BPM provides a much broader set of capabilities including data collection, automatic alerts and analytics.

Workflow Management By Example

Sequential Workflows

A sequential workflow refers to a series of steps performed one after another until the last activity completion. The order of the execution can be different, however tasks will alway remain sequential. Sequential workflows are mostly built on flowcharts which are only moving forward (without backward steps). Performing only one task at a given period of time.

Parallel Workflows

A parallel workflow refers to a system executing two or more tasks at the same time. This kind of flow of work is faster because one job doesn’t need to wait for another for its completion in order to move forward with the overall task completion. This is only valid if these jobs don’t need to exchange information between each other in order to finalise their part of work. Parallel workflows allow you to perform multiple jobs simultaneously.

When should you start investing in workflow automation?

It really depends on how much you value your time.

From a business perspective workflow automation can have significant initial cost, which may pay off over time. Before making a decision it is important to have a clear plan of what you need to achieve. Incorrectly implemented automation can result in more damage than benefit to the organisation.

From a personal perspective it can be valuable to start right away. Some of the automation solutions are very easy to implement and you can do it immediately. For example, you can automate your mailbox, automate news search or build custom workflows on macbook or windows. Learn how to do it.

Summary

Workflow management plays a crucial role in the modern world. It is useful both for businesses as well as personal use.

While most of the workflow management solutions aren’t for free, you can still start optimising your time and work with smaller and instant approaches.

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What is Workflow Management?

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