Workflow optimization software: How to improve the performance of your processes
One of the main struggles that businesses face as they grow has to do with processes. Sometimes they aren’t clear or accessible. Sometimes we don’t communicate effectively, so tasks either don’t get completed, or they get delayed. Ideally, each employee has the ability to start a task, see and understand each step required to finish the task, and get timely feedback from other team members to keep things on track. As simple as that may sound, implementing efficient workflows causes a lot of companies problems. Investing in workflow management software can streamline the process for you.
Workflow management software is like a very interactive “to do” list. Each process has been broken down into steps, so users can see what the entire workflow looks like, including who needs to do what, and when. It gives us the ability to see exactly where a project is at, and what is left to be done. Picking up such a useful tool comes with some serious benefits.
Improving Your Processes
Of all the great things that come with a solid project workflow software, one of the most beneficial is the role it plays as a workflow management system. When an employee has the ability to begin a task or project with the workflow laid out for them, the entire team can work more efficiently. New team members don’t require hand-holding as they assimilate into their new roles. They can jump in and get started. They are able to see and check off each step. They know who needs to sign off at the end. All the steps involved in any task become transparent.
Connecting Your Team
Giving your employees a roadmap to success is a great thing, but it only goes so far when people are dropping balls. People miss emails. People take vacations. Life happens. Luckily, your workflow management software can help with that too.
When teams collaborate in real-time, problems with assignment workflow management become a thing of the past. If a project requires input from a certain team member, that person knows exactly what is needed from them from the start. There is no confusion regarding which project needs their attention or when their input is required. As soon as they complete their task, the ball is immediately passed to whoever needs to take the next step.
This kind of transparency is great for management, too. It gives them a clear idea of the status of each project, allowing them to approximate the time remaining. If they require clarification on any aspect of the project, they can immediately see who they need to talk to. Also, if someone is holding the project up, they know who to talk to. A workflow automation software affords management more time to effectively manage, without wasting time on micromanagement.
A great way to eliminate wasted time in a business is to cut down on errors. This isn’t always as easy as it seems. Some companies are legally required to perform and document tasks in a very specific way, and errors can bring major legal and/or financial penalties. If you work in industries like government or healthcare, you need to make sure you are complying with regulations and that your communications are secure. Sensitive fields benefit from software that is suited to their needs. For example, government workflow management software is suited directly to government industries and can help keep companies in that space compliant.
Even if your field is far from “sensitive,” everyone can benefit from minimizing mistakes. The process of fixing them can cause a lot of stress for workers. Errors can mean that a project takes longer, requiring a rush at the end. While some people perform well under this kind of pressure, many do not. The ability of workflow management software to layout each piece of the project visually ensures each step is acknowledged and completed before moving on.
When you work on deadlines, the mundane tasks that eat up your day aren’t doing you any favors. Could you imagine having someone take care of them for you? By programming your software to initiate steps and delegate tasks when certain criteria are met, you’ll feel like you have your very own assistant. As soon as you complete each step in the workflow, the next one is automatically initiated. You’ll be able to fly through your checklist without wasting time on the setup or clogging your inbox with time-killing threads.
Saving You Money
Reducing the amount of time that’s wasted by inefficient processes will have a clear and definite impact on your bottom line. This is true for businesses of all types and sizes. An inefficient process will likely only become more troublesome as a business grows. Developing and maintaining streamlined workflows will pay off handsomely in the future.
While some companies offer workflow management software free of charge, they typically aren’t robust enough to give you the benefits you want out of them. When someone offers workflow tools open source, they don’t usually come with any form of support, so you are on your own when it comes to implementation and troubleshooting. What you save in dollars, you may pay for with setup time and frustration. It’s best to work from the other end. Spend some time figuring out what you want from your investment, and make your decisions based on those criteria. When you start looking into plans, you’ll be surprised at just how much workflow management software can do for you.
Some business owners can be resistant to new ways of doing things. It’s understandable. When we feel like something has been working for us, we like to keep doing it. The beauty of workflow management software is that it allows us to keep doing things the way we like doing them. It simply lays all the steps and personnel out clearly and concisely, allowing for more flexibility and control over your processes — ensuring every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed according to your preferences.