Workflows often take a lot of time with setup and ongoing management. The idea of using a workflow management system is to support the entire process, from start to finish.
This means that an effective system will make it easier to implement a new workflow, as well as assisting with updates and even automation.
Yes, workflow automation is possible and can greatly decrease errors and increase outputs.
So, let’s take a look at how a workflow management system can be used.
What is Workflow Management?
Every process in a business is technically a workflow. However, these processes sometimes just ‘grow’ themselves and aren’t looked at from a management perspective.
As small businesses expand, workflows become more complex and often need to be revisited. What works when you are a startup, doesn’t always work so well once you’re established.
Workflow management is the action of developing effective processes, removing unnecessary steps, and implementing checking/quality control to ensure efficiency.
This is often done using an array of apps, on paper, or sometimes simply through discussions. Managers want to have effective workflows, but can’t always dedicate lots of time to developing and adjusting processes.
For true effectiveness, and even automation, it isn’t a bad idea to at least look at how a workflow management system can help your business.
How can a Workflow Management System Help My Business?
A comprehensive workflow management system will include the following features to make creating and updating workflows as effortless as possible, saving many man-hours. A good management system quite literally pays for itself.
- Effortless User Interface – You should not need advanced skills or need to have skills in programming code in order to use the system. The interface should be easy to use, even for a novice.
- Cloud-Based – This allows any business to get started without a need for developing infrastructure.
- Role Control – By having different levels of access, you don’t need to give everyone access to your entire business. This is extremely useful for outsourcing tasks, or for giving clients restricted views of their project progression.
- Parallel Tasking – Workflows can be processed as linear only, but that often wastes time. But performing two or more tasks in the workflow at the same time, completion can be reached faster.
- Automation – In today’s world, managers and supervisors should not need to manually send emails about tasks, or to chase progress. Automation can handle all of the repetitive tasks, allowing staff to focus on work that makes money.
- Templates – Helping to set up projects faster. Existing projects can even be saved as a template and so duplicated for new projects. It saves a lot of time creating workflows for new customers or projects.
- Dashboard – It should be easy to see exactly how each project is progressing and an overview of the company’s total projects. This saves time with managers having to chase progress reports. Instead, visual and easy to understand live progress reports are right at your fingertips.
- See the Future – Staff can see what is due that day, and for upcoming dates. Anything overdue is automatically highlighted and raised above all other tasks. Seeing the future helps staff to manage their time better.
- Cloud Service Integration – Being integrated with payment systems, calendars, office apps and more allows staff to get things done no matter where they are located. This is perfect for outsourcing and those that travel. However, it also helps to centralize management and make things easier.
- Centralized Communication – Find yourself flitting between various screens whenever you need to send a message? Stop it. With centralized communication, clear and effective collaboration is kept within the workflow management system.
- Built-in Billing – Having expenses and invoicing built-in means that it can become a seamless part of workflows. Never miss sending an invoice, invoice accurately, and get billed when tasks are completed (or as you set in the workflow).
The above features not only help to make the process of creating and managing workflows faster but make running your entire business easier.
Can you imagine it? No longer needing to send emails to assign tasks, no longer needing to chase staff (unless they’re seriously behind), and no longer having to juggle 4 or 5 ‘organization’ apps to get things done.
Bringing everything into a productivity hub just makes so much sense from a profitability and time-saving perspective.