W – workflows can be a simple sequence of task or activities, or a complicated collection of one or more processes.
M – Management can be the process of dealing with or controlling things, work or people.
S – System can be a framework or tool which can help manage workflow.
Together Workflow Management System (WMS) provides an infrastructure monitoring and automating defined sequence of tasks , arranged as a workflow. Workflow Management System helps to reduce repetitive tasks, automates manual work, which improve both performance and efficiency. So it is very important to use best practice to get the most of workflow management system.
Following are few practices which should be followed in workflow management system:
1. Create sweet and simple workflow
A great Workflow Management System let’s you think in simple linear loops and does all the complex stuff in the background. Your workflow diagram should be neat and simple enough to understand, which will help simplifying the work. One can achieve this by understanding and placing tasks one after the another splitting them according to team who will be working on that. Give proper task name, process or workflow name, labelling whenever and wherever needed.
2. User friendly form design
When you design a form, you want to make sure all of your hard work pays so that someone instantly knows how to fill it out the moment they see it. WMS provides Custom Form Designers which allows you to customize forms. As we can customize form according to the business need, but form should be designed considering user’s perspective, it should be user friendly. Put placeholders, give hints, form elements should be well spaced, form should be compact, avoid more clicks, etc.
3. Pre filled form fields
Pre-filled forms may not sound like a big deal, but it is one of the most important features workflow management systems offers. Once a form is filled, it shouldn’t go back to doing it again. Once data is entered , it can populate in multiple forms, reducing duplication of effort and helping keep error rates down. Your workflow system should be a Business Intelligence System, consider HR process of resource allocation, resources are employees of the company, their details are stored in some application. So while working on resource allocation HR might require employee details, but if employee’s details are available it should be pre filled in the form rather than asking HR to fill it.
4. Managing groups, users, departments and roles
In a workflow or process users are the key players who will drive the process and will be actually working on the tasks. WMS gives freedom to create users, groups, departments, roles, but just creating them does not end the work there. It is very important to manage users, groups, department, roles and assign properly according to tasks.
5. Document management
Most businesses have piles of paperwork involved with day to day operation. Many documents move from one department to another or from one user to another. There are many chances of loss of documents in between. WMS facilitates edit, produce, track, store and manage document in digital format.
6. Choose proper routing
Not all steps can be sequential, there can be many other scenarios evaluating conditions to move to next step or move to multiple steps parallelly. Take a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for an example. It usually needs follow up with multiple customers, but instead of coming up with different workflows for each customer, you can create one workflow and choose customer to whom you want to contact or follow up with. Choosing a proper routing helps reduces time and avoid redundant work, does decision making on it own once condition is defined.
7. Send emails and notifications
It’s human tendency to forget things, people might forget to come to workflow management system. So it becomes important to reminded them to come back. An effective Workflow Management System provides features of sending emails and notifications. If emails and notifications are sent on time, users will not have to wait for tasks to come to him/her, and the WMS also gives confirmation on completion of tasks or work that has been performed.
8. Role-Based Access
Not everyone should be able to see everything.There are a few workflows which may comprise of sensitive information that is not intended to be shared with everyone in the process.Based on the roles each one is assigned to, the Workflow Management System allows you to customize what each individual user can see and edit.
In a company which is growing day by day it is very necessary to know the amount of work completed in a period of time, user’s efficiency and performance. WMS can generate report on who is doing what, how much time it took to complete the particular task, and what workflow participants are still waiting on, and many other reports. Reporting helps to understand and analyze where the bottlenecks are and where to focus your attention.
10. Task Automation
Last but not the least one of the greatest benefits of workflow management software is being able to automate repetitive processes. It is also known as workflow automation system. While developing workflow one should recognize which tasks can be manual and which task can be automated. Automation in workflow can be : most of the decisions are taken by WMS system without having human intervention, sending email automatically, start task or move task from one step to another. This helps reduce labor cost and increase productivity.
We hope the above Best Practices of Workflow Management System (WMS) help increase the productivity of your business. Feel free to get in touch with us through firstname.lastname@example.org for more insights. And Write to tell us what you think about this blog at email@example.com.