Workflow management software can make managing teams and projects easier. Automating your company's workflow can save time and allow managers to focus on strategy instead of micromanaging work projects. If your business requires collaboration to create and offer services or products, learning about workflow management can improve team communication and increase productivity. In this article, we explain what workflow and workflow management is, the benefits of implementing this tool and software that makes it easy to do.
What is workflow management?
Workflow is the sequence in which employees complete tasks at work. Workflow management provides structure for how a business can accomplish tasks by building and helping to monitor work processes. This involves team collaboration, beginning and end of projects and all the steps and tasks a process requires. Workflow shares these 5 basic pieces of information about the work process with a team:
- What tasks the project needs to accomplish
- When the team should complete each task
- How the team can accomplish each task
- Who is responsible for completing each task
- What is the end result
Workflow management systems can show the workflow in a business or for a specific project with a visual diagram that displays the activities that lead to accomplishing a project. Workflow management systems also help teams communicate with the correct members about tasks in the workflow and help track the team's progress on a project.
What are the benefits of workflow management?
When done correctly, workflow management helps a project to be more successful. Through effective workflow management, organizations can enjoy these benefits:
Workflow management improves communication by informing the team who is responsible for which tasks. This helps team members find and speak with the correct people when they have a question about the workflow. Workflow management organizes the workflow and communicates every aspect of a project to the team which offers transparency.
Since workflow management outlines which team members perform certain tasks, it is easier for management and employees to hold themselves accountable. Delegating tasks can also lead to greater productivity because it allows a sense of independence to employees who can tell when they need to complete tasks and how to complete each task by looking at the workflow. Self accountability helps managers to avoid micromanaging and focus instead on strategy and future projects.
Designing and defining a business's workflow offers clarity to both employees and managers. Providing information about how the work process operates and showing team members how they contribute also offers a sense of ownership of a project. Both benefit the productivity and communication of the team as a whole.
Workflow also provides transparency to stakeholders of the company by making the work process visible. The workflow explains to stakeholders how the business operates. This is helpful in bringing on new clients, as you can visibly show how your business can accomplish a project for them.
Read more: Understanding the Project Management Phases
Workflow management can reduce the risk of project failure because of the way it increases communication, accountability and organizes the work process. With all activities and tasks assigned and organized in a timeline, the risks of falling behind or incompletion decrease.
Improves time management
Workflow management is a great tool to keep a project on track, and it also offers more accurate predictions of a timeline for clients. In a workflow management diagram, management plans the time at which a task is completed and how long the team expects to work on each task. Specific intervals help employees and project managers to better manage their time.
Allows for adjustments
Visualizing your workflow helps identify where improvements could be made. Workflow management carefully plans and delegates tasks as well as explains them so a team can see which steps are unnecessary, for example, and remove these steps.
Workflow management software
Workflow management aids in making workplaces and employees more productive and organized. With this in mind, workflow management software has become a popular way to better manage workflow as it makes designing a workflow in business easier. Here are a few different workflow management software options to consider when implementing workflow management in your business:
Asana is a workflow management tool that makes it easy to manage team projects. It offers both a subscription and a free version of its software. Asana can work for your business on a large scale because it can help organize a variety of tasks, from small ones up to business strategy planning. With Asana, a business can keep track of the team's work in one place. Asana also offers helpful features like a news feed to aid communication and a budget tracker.
Monday.com is great for visualizing the work process, and it works well for teams of any size. Monday.com schedules tasks for multiple teams in a business, such as marketing and human resources. A business can also access, edit or review their work using this software.
Kissflow is a software that helps with both business processes and project management. Kissflow does not require coding, so anyone can use it to build workflows. You can use this tool for accounting services like billing and invoicing. It also allows customization for business process, collaboration and activity tracking.
Wrike works best for mid-sized companies and can help manage multiple projects with its document sharing capabilities. Wrike helps share forms and grant approvals. It also features useful tools such as analytic and ROI tracking, as well as activity planning and tracking.
Pipefy allows teams to customize and integrate their workflow for free using Pipefy software. This software helps automate workflow and increase efficiency. This is a helpful tool, especially for managers who want to standardize work processes.
Quickbase allows a business to create a work process digitally and quickly. This software is best used for problem solving workflows.
This software allows a business to schedule job tasks on different platforms and integrates the information in one place. It offers key features such as business process automation and collaboration tools. JAMS is subscription only.
Pnematic is a great choice for start-ups and small business. With pre-made workflows to help get started, Pnematic does not require knowledge for coding and offers a free version.
Hive is a subscription based workflow management software. It allows a business to plan, track and monitor team projects. This software includes features for brainstorming, managing a budget, assignments and company calendar as well as a client portal to organize work for different clients.
Decisions does not require coding and allows graphic inputs instead, which can make creating workflows easier using this software. This is a subscription-based service best for large companies. Decisions works well for business process automation and aiding in team collaborations.
Rindle is helpful in integrating across different platforms, allowing team members independence to work how they choose. This improves communication and offers organization by connecting the tools your business and team already use.
Digital Business Transformation Suite
Digital Business Transformation Suite works well for managing financial information, so it is a great fit for banking and accounting firms. This software performs analysis, monitoring and improvement tools for workflow automation.
This software was designed for the creative industry and helps with time management by scheduling and tracking projects. With an integrated news feed, FunctionFox helps the team better communicate and share project progress updates.
Workflow management software features
When deciding which software is best for your business, consider the features each service offers. Here are the best features you may need to automate your workflow:
- Code-free: Software that does not require coding may be easier to use and more intuitive.
- Form designing tool: A tool which allows you to design your own forms is helpful when working with a team.
- Integration: Many workflow management software allows a business to integrate applications they already use for their work with the workflow tool.
- Reporting tools: Tools that report progress help to improve workflows and boost productivity.
- Active notifications: Notifications help track team members and the project as a whole.
- Access controls: Role-based access controls help team leads and project managers access all necessary information and restrict editing controls based on a team member's job role.
Please note: None of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.