What Are the Important Features You Should Look for in a Workflow Management System?
Workflows are a crucial part of the day-to-day functioning of a business. Inefficient workflows can cause lengthy lead times, continuous errors, and a lack of order. Well-defined workflows can bring structure to businesses, while poorly defined ones can hinder productivity and growth. This emphasizes the importance of workflow management tools in organizations. Workflow management tools can help them evaluate and reengineer their business processes, improving output, cost, and service.
Before we get into the important features of a workflow management system, let’s define a few terms that will be used in this blog.
What is workflow management?
Workflow management refers to determining and maintaining the flow of materials, information, and services to enable an outcome. It involves optimizing and automating the workflow whenever and wherever possible to reduce errors, redundancies, and time.
What are workflow management systems?
A workflow management system is a software tool that helps streamline business processes maximize efficiency. It provides visual aids for creating workflows. Such a tool assists in every area of the value stream management.
A workflow management tool has the following purposes:
- To understand bottlenecks, provide an overview of all tasks with analytics.
- To increase collaboration and enable follow-ups on pending tasks.
- To use automation to alleviate the workload of employees
- To facilitate progress evaluation through visualization.
Workflows have a high impact on the productivity of teams. Thus, there are some features of a workflow management system that organizations must keep in mind while choosing one.
What Are the Important Features of a Workflow Management System?
The following are the important features of a workflow management system that should be heeded-
- Zero code workflow-Workflow management system should come with an intuitive visual interface that anyone can use to create and automate workflows. It would make the tool accessible without relying on the development team’s help.
- Drag and drop design– Dynamic forms are the lifeblood of automated processes. They help reduce manual effort and increase productivity. One of the most important features of a workflow management system is the presence of drag and drop features for creating forms. It should have sophisticated layouts and all kinds of fields, such as text, numbers, drop-downs, calculations, etc. so that anybody can easily create and customize them, regardless of their programming knowledge.
- Cloud-based technology– One of the main benefits of cloud-native software is that organizations don’t have to spend weeks or months overhauling their infrastructure as they would with on-premise solutions. Instead, third-party cloud providers already have the infrastructure , and organizations can easily scale up their infrastructure per the increased demand. Once the demand for additional requirements is gone, organizations can revert to their original configuration. This allows any software, like a workflow management system, to scale up as the demand increases, which gives users unmatched reliability and stability. Hence, being on cloud-based technology is one of the most important features of a workflow management system.
- SLA status indicators– A good workflow management tool will highlight the most important tasks based on the deadlines. It should help stakeholders prioritize their time and resources accordingly. Hence, a workflow management system should have a mechanism for indicating SLA status.
- Notifications and reminders– Stakeholders may have several other tasks to keep them busy. It is important to keep them on track for the project. A good workflow management tool should have a system for automatic notifications through email. This is important to remind the stakeholders of pending tasks and approvals.
- Customizable access control- Workflows are a center of information for different stakeholders. Sometimes they may have sensitive information that is meant for specific individuals. For such a scenario, the system should allow users to customize the view and edit access per their requirements. This is a salient feature of a good workflow management tool.
- Parallel Workflows– A workflow management system should be able to generate parallel workflows so that team members can work independently instead of having to wait for others to complete their work.
- Mobility- Mobility should be built into your workflow management system. The workflow should be viewable on all devices. This means it should have responsive layouts that adapt to the type of device so users can avoid fiddling every time they log in from a different device. Hence, mobility should be taken into consideration while looking for a workflow management system
- Security and authentication– Security is one of the most pressing concerns of modern-day businesses. Workflows have critical information about processes and documents. Businesses should ensure that the workflow management system is secure and private. Data in the system should be encrypted throughout, and the vendor should have a documented security policy.
- Reports– A workflow analysis tool is important for value stream management. It helps assess the time taken by different departments for various activities, compare processes and efficiencies, and optimize them to remove redundancies and improve productivity. So, one of the most important features of a workflow management system is that it should have analysis tools that can provide insightful reports to the users.
Workflow management is a critical part of business process management. The right workflow management system can help organizations kick start their journey to improve operational efficiency and ROI.
Automation Power Suite is a powerful tool that can orchestrate complex workflows across multiple platforms to help your business optimize business processes and earn high ROI. Contact us to schedule a demo today.