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What is workflow?

Workflow is the repeatable pattern of the activities sequence or steps that take place to complete a specific task on a regular basis. The flow being described includes tasks, documents or information that are passed to a proper workflow participant for action  in a sequence determined by actions or pre-defined business rules.

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There are three key types of workflows:
  • Linear Workflow – typically progresses from one step to next and does not step back.
  • State Machine Workflow – usually progress with reference to ‘State’ and return can to a previous point if required.
  • Rules-driven Workflow – processed according to predefined rules that can enable mandatory data capture, automatic task reassignment or other actions.

The idea of workflow began in the manufacturing sector to coordinate tasks between people, modern businesses have adopted the term to enjoy the following key benefits:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Better responsiveness
  • Work process transparency
  • Increased profitability

Approval Workflow Example

Approval Workflow Example

The example above shows a straightforward new marketing campaign approval workflow, visualized for clarity. Every step of the workflow may be assigned to employees spread across multiple departments over the course of the workflow execution. In some cases a step may require engagement of 3rd-party stakeholders or be handled automatically (for instance, sending out an “approved” email).

Best Practices – Workflow Software

It is vital for companies, regardless of size, to improve efficiency, responsiveness and profitability. The ability to handle daily tasks and collaborate effectively is often hampered by relying on manual workflow management through lengthy email strings.

Digital workflow successfully replaces manual processes by automating hand-offs and other repetitive tasks, that can be completed without human intervention. Workflow are usually automated with workflow management tools that allow setting business rules to dictate when one step can be taken as successfully completed and the next step can be triggered. Some workflow management tools can also automatically coordinate dependent relationships between individual steps and allow going beyond linear workflow automation and make workflow management even more efficient.

Automation is good, but not enough for business success.

To be successful, in addition to workflow automation companies need to:
  1. Make sure they are able to customize their IT environment quickly and meet market demands timely.
  2. Improve team collaboration and communication.

Workflow Tool That Helps

We designed Comindware Tracker with challenges listed above in mind

Comindware Tracker is a #1 workflow management software for businesses that want to move their effectivity on a better level without getting dependent of IT guys. The workflow tool unifies employees, automated workflows, and communications on tasks in a single work environment and improve your team efficiency and performance. Even more, it allows non-technical users to design, run and modify workflows with drag-and-drop simplicity.
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Elena Haidukova is an Online Marketing Manager at Comindware Inc., and a passionate advocate for empowering executive managers onward to workflow automation and running their businesses effectively.

Posted on:  in Workflow