Businesses thrive when their operations are organized and efficient. A well-tuned system of business processes are the backbone of sustainability and growth within an organization, and in the midst of this fourth industrial revolution, it’s easier than ever to achieve workplace efficiency with business process automation tools.
However, many companies are still struggling to implement a digital transformation strategy and stick to it, and part of the blame may be a lack of understanding and maintaining routine business functions, or workflows.
Workflow management is an essential component of a successful digital business strategy, and aids in organizational efficiency and accountability across departments.
Read on to learn about the importance of workflow management in the modern workplace, and how to achieve it with lasting results.
What is a Workflow?
A workflow is a system of tasks or communications that comprise a business process in an organization. Workflows are carried out in a specific sequence of steps, with each step relying on the actions taken in the step before it.
Take, for example, a simple hiring workflow. A job seeker fills out a digital form, submitting their application for employment at an agency. A recruiter at the agency receives a completed application from the prospective candidate, and forwards it to the hiring manager for review. Upon her review, she can approve or deny the application. Once an action is taken on the application, it needs to be sent back to the recruiter, who can then notify the candidate if they’ve secured an interview.
Workflows like these, for the most part, are routine and repeatable, making them great candidates for BPA.
What is Workflow Management?
Workflow management is the process of maintaining a workflow to ensure that each step in the process is completed accurately and efficiently.
A workflow can be considered well-managed when:
- each step in the process coincides with a preceding and succeeding step that is dependent on the chain of actions taken.
- all persons involved are notified of each action in a workflow that concerns their role.
- there is a clearly defined beginning and ending action.
- the steps in the process are simple to modify, track and report on as needed.
- the workflow itself is designed so that is easily repeatable on a routine basis.
Workflow management can be confined to a personal agenda planner, a flowchart in a meeting room or a learned chain-of-commands around the office, but these are not the most optimal methods of maintaining a reliable and flexible system of operations.
Digital workflows achieved through BPA technology greatly improve the accuracy and efficiency of workflows completed in an organization.
The Benefits of a Workflow Management System
Digitizing your business processes with a workflow management system can result in immediate improvements in operational accuracy and efficiency across your organization.
Workflow management software, which incorporates tools like workflow automation and business process reporting, is essential to bringing business processes to a higher level of transparency and performance.
A high-quality, digital workflow management system should be able to:
- save hours of staff time with rule-based workflows for simple tasks like renaming documents and emailing document changes.
- optimize resource-intensive, multi-department processes including vendor and contract management, invoice processing, electronic records management, travel and expense management and records management.
- boost staff productivity and simplify process management with reports on every business process step.
- build a business process automation solution for every need with an easy-to-use workflow designer.
Top workflow management solutions can create workflows that outline and automate exactly how documents should be processed and routed.
Learn More About Workflow Management
Workflows are just one important element of a high-functioning digital business. By automating business processes and thereby better managing workflows, organizations can save resources and improve efficiency across departments.
This article was originally published on the Laserfiche Blog. Laserfiche is a leading SaaS provider of intelligent content management and business process automation.