Dealing with complex business processes can be a great challenge for any company even if you've just launched a startup with a few remote workers.
For example, an employee is responsible for processing raw data or information and transforming it into insights or something else that the business can benefit from. To achieve this, they have to employ several additional processes. If for some reason an employee fails to process some information or data properly or promptly, the consequences may be profound. The work may start piling up until a point when one simply can’t deal with it anymore. And, unlike many movie characters, you cannot toss the papers in the shredder and claim you never got them.
Another serious consequence is stress. Work-related stress is common these days, with millions of people suffering from high workplace demands. According to the American Institute of Stress, the workload is the #1 cause of stress in the U.S.
But how can you reduce the impact of stress and ensure that organizational processes run as smoothly and efficiently as possible?
The answer is superb workflow management. By giving the employees the guidelines they need to perform tasks as effectively and efficiently as possible, a proper workflow management framework increases the chance of achieving the company’s goals.
In this article, we’re going to explore the reasons why companies need to adopt workflow management software and how to make the choice that can help to meet the needs of your business.
Why Do You Need Workflow Management for Your Company?
Every year businesses lose 20%-30% in revenue due to inefficiencies. This translates into millions of dollars that they could use to create a competitive advantage and win more business. The most significant reason for these inefficiencies, of course, is an inefficient, poorly optimized, and slow workflow. That is why workflow management is an important part of the business process that many entrepreneurs try to optimize.
If you’re among these entrepreneurs, too, here are some of the main benefits of workflow management that you can achieve with proper software:
Quicker organizational change and process change
Increased access to information among employees
Delineation of work responsibilities
Improvement of project timeline estimates
Better information/data visibility and accountability
Reduced project risk due to availability of data
More focus on the long-term strategy due to reduced process-related issues
Predefined rules for dealing with common business processes.
How Can a Company Manage Business Processes with Workflow Management Software?
Simply put, workflow management is the coordination of tasks within the company. Clearly, this sounds like something that can be automated with some help of technology, right?
That’s why workflow management is performed through special software that allows automating the existing business processes and scaling up their productivity. This software is often referred to as “a workflow management system,” and can be defined as a tool created to streamline common business processes to achieve maximum effectiveness and efficiency.
Business owners use workflow management systems to outperform competitors because this software gives an excellent opportunity to automate workflows, reduce inefficiencies, and, therefore, reduce stress and improve the well-being of employees.
Workflow Management Systems
Workflow management systems (WfMS) are software that provides the framework to arrange, control, track and coordinate the business process to ensure automation and higher efficiency of operations.
Also, they are used to streamline and partially automate routine or repetitive processes.
A WfMS enables the users within a company to identify the workflows that are built on different circumstances including jobs, processes, and settings.
For example, it allows measuring processes so one could identify opportunities for improvement and streamline operations.
To help you with the selection of the best WfMS for your business, we’ve compiled a list of the characteristics you should look for while choosing a workflow management system.
Must-Have Features of Workflow Management Systems
Every business is unique so you need to consider the needs of your business while looking for a workflow management system.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Not every system offers you what you need it to do, so be prepared to delve deep into what a particular piece of WfMS can offer.
However, there are some general features that you should always pay attention to when browsing your options. The following 7 features are something that your workflow management system should include.
1. Cloud Integration
According to Right Scale’s Cloud Computing Trends for 2018 survey, 96% of survey respondents claim that they use the cloud. This makes integration with cloud services a must-have feature.
Besides,g there’s no way workflows will work separately from other organizational processes, so a system without cloud integration is something that you need to avoid.
2. Access Based on Responsibilities
A workflow management software should allow you to arrange the tasks according to employees’ roles.
People performing various roles within a process have to keep their team members updated about their current status, but they don’t need to have access to the entire workflow. Besides, a workflow or project manager needs to be able to change team members’ roles whenever needed.
3. Easy Graphical Modeling of Processes
Intuitive graphical modeling is among the key features software for workflow management can offer.
With the help of a graphical model, you can see process and activity definitions, resources, roles of individuals and departments, and expected outputs from all the steps in the process. By capturing and depicting the flow of the process, you can help everyone on the team to understand why they’re doing what they do.