Workflow Management System (WMS)

Typically, workflow management system is a unique approach that helps businesses to take control of their daily processes better. It usually involves a sequential progression of a set of operations within an organization, each taking place concurrently, ultimately impacting each other according to the set regulations, roles and routes. Workflow management system enables companies to define and regulate the various business tasks associated with a business process. What’s more, a number of management systems give organizations an opportunity to measure and analyze the execution of the process so that routine improvements can be realized. It is critical to mention that many workflow systems often integrate with other systems used by organizations, including Geographic Information Systems, product applications, document management systems, databases, e-mail among other applications.

A workflow management system is your organization’s way of managing the infrastructure of its workflows. Research has shown that companies that incorporate workflow automation into their business processes benefit from reduced operational costs and equally, enjoy reasonably more resources and time to focus entirely on more critical projects as well as more difficult problems. Similarly, it allows for the determination of who is responsible for each aspect of a process and this is likely to enhance communication and transparency.

Other potential benefits offered by workflow automation include:

  • It frees your employees from low-skilled and repetitive processes.
  • It eliminates the risk of human error.
  • It enhances the overall business efficiency and productivity.
  • It allows your organization to monitor tasks automatically.
  • It enables organizations to analyze their various business processes and make necessary adjustments.

One thing that you should know regarding workflows is that they may not necessarily be one-size-fits-all. Instead, they could involve highly complex projects that depend on outsourcing input from multiple members as part of a broad business activity such as merging data with statistics stored in other systems of record and designing a more precise and structured document as a result of that entire process. Workflows can also be as basic as creating a series of projects that need to be examined by a couple of employees. However, whatever your reasons for adopting workflow automation, your organization must employ a consistent workflow management system to deliver long-term and sustainable results.

To get a good value for money that a workflow management system guarantees, it must have specific critical features. As always, your organization should never settle for a system which cannot keep up with the demands of your business and which cannot deliver on productivity.

So, let us examine some of the most important features that any efficient workflow management system must have for it to be considered the perfect machine that will be readily and seamlessly adopted by any organization.

The most essential features that your workflow solutions must include.

An easy to use interface: This implies that the system should not only be attractive, appealing and intuitive but must also be easy to operate. Even some of your employees who may not be extremely knowledgeable about IT should be in a position to use that particular workflow management software comfortably. Simply put, this will incredibly reduce employee frustration thus leading to better productivity.

Integration with third-party applications: It is imperative to note that workflows do not function independently of other applications or processes. We are continually becoming more and more connected, and the same applies to our business solutions. The best workflow management software must be able to connect with other applications such as Google Drive, Salesforce, DocuSign, Dropbox, Zendex, as well as other solutions seamlessly.

Cloud-based technology: To go for a workflow management system that is not cloud-based is a colossal mistake. Almost any new technology you integrate into your business today needs to be cloud-enabled. Users should be able to access data, reports, and approvals from any location and at any given time. Again, a cloud-based workflow system will have a reasonably much lower upfront costs.

Individual-based access control: A significant number of workflows usually contain highly sensitive information that is not intended for sharing with everybody within the organization. A fully functional workflow software should offer you the possibility to customize what every individual employee can see, manipulate and edit.

Versatile workflow designs: As previously mentioned, workflow automation can cover nearly anything, from a simple task to more complex projects. This implies that you must have a system which will enable your organization to handle both ends of the spectrum efficiently and tailor any process to the specific needs of your organization.

As technology advances and continues to influence the way we conduct our businesses, it is highly advisable that we embrace such technological changes as a way to stay ahead of the competition. This implies that it makes sense to invest in a workflow management software considering the potential benefits that it may offer.

 

Features of an efficient Workflow Management System

Workflow management system (WMS) is a type of software designed to help business management take control of routine operational activities and processes with an aim of enhancing management efficiency. In so doing, the system serves as an infrastructure for efficient set-up, performance as well as enhanced monitoring of a sequence of defined tasks organized as a workflow application. WMS is particularly important in the course of workflow execution for the purposes of coordinating operations of individual components that constitute the workflow. Business management requires WMS to overcome the challenge of managing incompatible data formats that are often produced or consumed by various services, which would otherwise have required considerable expertise in computer science. With WMS, business managers do not necessarily have to be specialized in computer science. It provides an easy-to-use method of task specification. It is also a great relief from technical details involved in the process of workflow execution. However, your business needs may not be completely solved by a single WMS. Just as every business is unique, so are the processes and its workflows. The following are features of an efficient workflow management system to meet your business needs:

Features of an efficient Workflow Management System

  • Precision in graphical modeling- Graphical modeling provides an instant visual interpretation of the components of a particular system. The graphical model should clearly depict the steps involved in the workflow, processes in every step and the results expected from those processes. Additionally, it should also show the resources available and the roles assigned to the staff and their various departments. It should also reflect the expected outcomes and outputs of all the processes involved.
  • Flexibility in the workflow patterns- Workflow patterns should be flexible enough to allow for easy designing and modeling of workflows in multiple ways. Basically, it should clearly outline or define the processes without putting constraints on them.
  • Access and Control should be based on the Participants’ responsibilities- Workflow management system should be transparent for access by relevant persons or members of staff. However, it should not allow for access by persons who are not involved in its specific phases. People’s access to the system should only be limited to the phases in which they are involved and not the entire workflow system.
  • Automated or easy-to-interpret task status- It should involve features such as automatic emails or alerts to show the status, the next person to give the input in the sequence or an indication of where every participant is in the workflow. This helps to save time, phone calls, and facilitates easy planning for effective execution of the steps in the workflow.
  • Convenient cloud hosting- Cloud hosting offers a number of benefits to businesses. With cloud hosting solutions, you don’t necessarily require software for on-site management of work. It offers an opportunity for employees to work from different locations using different devices. It is also convenient for team members who operate through telecommunication, or who are located in a different location, away from the immediate business location.

Conclusion

Workflow management system is a great way of achieving automation in your business by clearly defining and gaining full control of all the business activities involved in your business process. Having a system that allows for measurement and clear depiction of how business processes are disseminated allows team members to strive for continuous improvement. Considering the above discussed features of an efficient workflow management system facilitates easy achievement of business goals and objectives.