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In complex organizations with a lot of moving parts and projects, workflow management is one of the most important disciplines to learn and master. However, new business owners, executives, and managers often don’t fully understand workflow management, its importance, or the tools they need to practice it.
This article will discuss workflow management, its challenges and benefits, and the tools and practices you can use to ensure your workflow management processes are as efficient as possible.
Read on or skip ahead:
Workflow management is the organization and coordination of tasks, people, and resources to achieve a specific outcome or meet a specific goal. It is all about managing “workflows,” which are key components of most modern business operations, particularly those based around software development (but also in other industries).
Through good workplace management, you can improve and optimize workflows, as well as automate workflow operations to reduce errors, increase productivity, and minimize the hours needed for repetitive tasks.
A workflow is a schedule or series of steps needed to complete a task or project. Workflows can include people, machines, systems, resources, and even plans. Workflows are typically overseen by workflow managers or administrators, whose primary duties involve improving visibility into the workflow and eliminating bottlenecks (areas where resources and people clash negatively to slow progress).
Put simply, workflow management is important because most organizations rely on efficient workflows to get all their work done on time.
Through strong workflow management, your organization will see improvements and benefits such as:
All of these benefits, in turn, lead to practical business boosts such as better cost-efficiency, fewer wasted dollars, and improved brand reputation.
Although workflow management can help improve business operations in many ways, there are some challenges you’ll have to overcome to practice it successfully.
For example, some teams use different types of software or tools to practice workflow management, which can make combining data or resources difficult, if not impossible.
Additionally, workflow management can be tough if everyone on the team is not on the same page regarding deliverables, schedules, etc. Good workflow management, therefore, is contingent on having a good workflow administrator or leader. This person can marshal everyone under their command and ensure everyone does what’s needed to meet specific goals and objectives.
The best way to maximize workflow management is to operate under a few best practices.
Firstly, spend plenty of time prioritizing and setting the right goals. By prioritizing goals from most important to least important, you’ll complete the most vital work first, then move on to lesser objectives. This is a key part of good resource allocation and prioritization.
Next, be sure to create and document all of your current workflows so you can analyze them. Your organization likely already has some workflows that it uses for common tasks or projects. By examining your existing workflows, you can determine which are most efficient and worth keeping and which ones you should throw out.
Then you should consider each workflow team’s requirements for automation. Workflow automation can help eliminate busywork and free up extra labor hours that you can use to better your organization and accomplish more work. By considering automation requirements, you can apply different tools or automation solutions to each team or workflow as needed and maximize productivity.
Let’s take a closer look at some workflow management examples so you can see how it directly affects business productivity.
Imagine a scenario where an HR team has to onboard a new employee. They use a workflow to manage all of their tasks and ensure appropriate onboarding resources are provided to the new employee at each step of the process.
With good workflow management:
Imagine the same scenario as before, but with bad workflow management:
Workflow management software is any tool that provides workflow support. It typically has a dashboard through which managers can see currently active workflows, assign team members and resources, and handle other workflow tasks without having to open up additional software apps.
The primary reason to use workflow management software is to improve productivity and simplify workflow visibility and management. With excellent workflow management software, such as Process Street, you’ll have greater control and command over your active workflows and be able to modify, optimize, and apply them more readily to existing teams or future projects.
When you use the best workflow management software, you’ll see benefits such as:
Workflow management is an important part of managing business workflows efficiently, especially if you have a lot of employees or complex projects to tackle. Thanks to new software tools and best practices, succeeding with workflow management is easier than ever, even if you’re a beginner to this process.
Process Street can help your organization with workflow management from the beginning. Our comprehensive, robust software solution can replace grunt work with automated workflows that require no coding expertise on your part. Try it today!