Workflow Process: The best guide of 2020
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a workflow process?
- 2 Example of a workflow process
- 3 Importance of a workflow process
- 4 How to create a workflow process?
- 5 Workflow management software systems
- 6 Workflow process examples from different industries
- 7 Wrapping up
- 8 FAQ
- 9 How do you write a workflow process?
- 10 What is the difference between workflow and process?
- 11 What are the 3 basic components of workflow?
- 12 Why is workflow process important?
What is a workflow process?
At some point every professional feels overwhelmed with the work they have. At some point everyone fumbles with the workload. It gets too much, to a point where everything is piled up, your tasks, emails and your desk.
You might read all kinds of articles on how to work efficiently. You will clean your desk and organize your desk but it’s probably still of no help.
Creating a workflow process will help you improve your performance and efficiency and also save you time. It is a work pattern you create for yourself.
You systematically organize your resources. It is a way to get your work done in a timely manner.
It is a step by step process that can be outlined with the help of a diagram or a checklist. It is moving from one step to another, from one stage to another and reaching your goal.
Example of a workflow process
If you are a blogger
Step 1: Pick your topic
Step 2: Write your blog
Step 3: SEO optimize it
Step 4: Check for grammatical errors
Step 5: Publish your blog
This is a simple example. If you have a business, the workflow is much more complicated. It involves various different factors. There are clients, meetings, reports, finances, different departments, etc.
Workflow documentation is an important document. It has the details of every step of your workflow. Details such as:
- How to complete each step?
- Which apps or softwares to use?
- Who is responsible for which stage of the process?
This was just a brief about the meaning of workflow. Now let’s discuss the importance of it and how to make one.
Importance of a workflow process
Workflows help you to save a lot of time. They also increase productivity. But these are not the only benefits. Other benefits are
1. Reduces project risk
It can make sure that there are no delays. It limits the need to re work and reduces disputes and costs too.
2. Organizational change
Limits the managerial intervention. The team works cohesively and effectively. It provides an improved understanding of the workflow.
3. Can lead to a change in process
In order to create a workflow, organizations and companies go through a scrutiny process. They scrutinize their current processes. These lead to optimizations and improvements through the workflow.
4. Increased access to information
Every point is reviewed carefully to make sure there are no issues. This helps the managers to know and understand how their project is going to run from the beginning to end.
5. Divides work responsibility
Workflow defines each step in detail. It defines which responsibility is under whom and under which department. The work responsibilities are not vague anymore.
6. Improves timeline estimate
It gives the project managers an estimate of the timeline of the entire process. It gives an estimate as to when the project will end.
7. Provides transparencies
A workflow shows the stakeholders a clear picture of the project. It shows every detail and does not leave room for guess work.
8. Focus on strategy
The operations flow smoothly with the help of a planned workflow. The manager will not have to spend a lot of time on operations. They can focus on the growth and the development of the organization.
9. Provides an audit trail
It makes it easy to keep records. Records of task completion with details are kept when you use a workflow management software system. Details about who completed the task, when it was completed and the duration.
10. Provides predefined rules
When problems arise you can refer to the predefined rules and solutions mentioned in the workflow. It eliminates guesswork and smooths the process. It saves time too.
How to create a workflow process?
Let’s learn how to create a workflow chart.
Step 1 – Online Graphing tool
The first thing to do is, find an online graphing tool.
Step 2 – Workflow process flowchart
Next, create an account and then pick a flowchart template. For instance here there are 3 types of flowcharts that you could chose from:
Step 3 – Fill in the steps of the process
Once you pick the template, fill out each block with a step.
Step 4- Convert your workflow process flowchart
Finally convert your flowchart into the desired format. A PNG file, PDF, etc. Post creating the flowchart you need to create the documentation.
A few key things to remember:
- Add a title to the documentation.
- Add which department will work for which step
- The exact steps that are mentioned in the workflow
- Add additional information. Such as tips, general rules, credentials and guidelines.
Step 5 – Online platform for other employees
The next step is to host this documentation on an online storage portal so that your employees are able to access it easily.
Workflow management software systems
A workflow software is a modern solution for creating efficient workflows. You can create a workflow digitally instead of on paper. You can create a documentation on a software.
The software helps you to create a workflow as well as execute it. You give access to your employees and assign them a workflow. When they start the work, the system sends a notification.
It sets deadlines and assigns tasks. In some softwares the manager gets the overall picture of the workflow as well as the workflow of each employee.
Automation of a workflow process through a software has various benefits, such as:
1. Automated messages
The software automates messages. It reduces the work of manually sending emails and messages. The software does that for you. It also sends the employees new tasks.
You will know at all times which employee is working on which section of the workflow. If something goes wrong, it is easy to reach the reason for it.
3. Find issues
The software notifies you if you have missed deadlines. It can help you come with a solution immediately.
It increases efficiency for the above mentioned reasons. It increases transparency in the organization.
Most softwares gives you a detailed report and analytics. This allows you to improve your workflow.
Workflow process examples from different industries
Not every industry has the same workflow. Different industries will have their particular workflows. Here are few workflow outlines of some industries :
The workflow includes the hiring processes, training processes, leaves assigned and pay processes.
Testing of various raw materials, manufacturing of the medicines, packaging and shipping are the steps included in the workflow process of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company.
The investigation of the customers complaint and answering their queries in the main step of the workflow process.
Deploying the military when necessary, following particular rules and regulations for various problems are mentioned in the workflow.
Travel and tourism
The workflow includes, flight bookings, hotel bookings, rentals, etc.
A workflow is a highly efficient process. It helps you to organize your work effectively and saves time. You can create your own workflow and manage it or let a software work its magic.
If you are using a particular software do let us know in the comments! We hope we helped you understand the importance of a workflow. Let us know how a workflow positively helped your organization.
How do you write a workflow process?
Steps to Create a Workflow: 1) Identify your resources. 2) List out the tasks that should be accomplished. 3) Find out who is accountable for each step and assign roles. 4) Create a workflow diagram to visualize the process. 5) Test the workflow you created. 6) Train your team on the new workflow. 7) Deploy the new workflow.
What is the difference between workflow and process?
A workflow is analyzed, planned, modeled and automated consciously and with well-defined purposes. ... Process is the way a team coordinates and communicates to deliver a result. Workflow is a technology or tool that can help to do achieve this result in the best way.
What are the 3 basic components of workflow?
Each workflow component or step may be described by three parameters: input, transformation, and output. Input: The materials and resources that are required to complete a step.
Why is workflow process important?
Workflows can help streamline and automate repeatable business tasks, minimizing room for errors and increasing overall efficiency. This, in turn, dramatically improves your business. Managers can make quicker, smarter decisions and employees are empowered to collaborate in a more productive and agile way.