What to Look for in a Workflow Management System?

What to Look for in a Workflow Management System?

Where are we on the approvals for the campaign ideas shared last week?

Did you follow up on the last mail?

The mail trail is so huge, totally untrackable. Can you reshare the documents again?

Where does the team forward the folders?

Who has the recording for the last client meeting?

All of the questions mentioned above sound relatable.

Organisations of any size, be it big or small, offering products or services, functioning at any level, be it national or global, witness such circumstances where their employees work on an overwhelming amount of data that comes from various sources, in massive volumes, at different velocities and in formats more than one. Moreover, when the workflows are managed manually over emails and other similar communication channels, it creates a lot of confusion, hampering the work and impacting overall organisational performance. Not only this, the work performed by different teams and departments are all interdependent, which leads to redundancies, and it becomes challenging to comprehend where things are and how and what needs to be done next.

At the heart of all these concerns is one thing - the lack of an efficient and effective workflow management system. Successful organisations have a robust workflow management system, which empowers them to define their ultimate objectives clearly and make decisions prudently to run the business smoothly. With streamlined workflow management in place, the focus is on bigger and more critical tasks rather than just finding one relevant piece of information among the pile of data.  

Integrating a workflow management platform is of utmost significance to build the foundation of a successful business. But before you compare the different platforms available and choose the one that best suits your organisation’s needs, it is essential to understand what workflow management means, what a workflow management system is and which features make it the best.

Workflow Management: A Means to Optimise the Paths For Data

In simple terms, workflow is a set of actions performed repeatedly to deliver consistent results. Workflows not only bring more structure to various operations conducted in the organisation but also help reduce processing time, operating costs, and, more importantly, employees that are almost always befuddled due to the fragmentation of data. Implementing workflows helps you find redundant activities, map out the flow of actions in an ideal situation, automate the process, and recognize the area and scope of improvement. From offering a standard framework that each employee can follow and complete their routine tasks to optimising, augmenting, and refining how data flows within the different systems in the company, an efficient workflow can prove to be highly beneficial.

However, tracking the numerous workflows in the organisational ecosystem is no easy feat. And this is exactly why you need a workflow management system.

Workflow Management System: An Intuitive Interface to Automate Work

Workflow management entails developing a structure to organise data and making sequential paths of tasks and activities for that data to follow until it gets fully processed. It is a cloud-based software that supports the workflow management principle and allows businesses and teams to organise and control their daily tasks efficiently.

A workflow management platform in its purest form:

  • Allows automation of monotonous routine tasks
  • Empowers to follow up on unfinished activities in the process conveniently
  • Offers an overview of the workflow and performance indicators

Features That Build a Quintessential Workflow Management System

This does not come as a surprise that the market has a multitude of workflow management software, which makes it challenging to zero in a platform that fits the bill. You would not want to commit to a system that fails to achieve what you strive for. Following are the key features of a workflow management system that can help you narrow down your choice and opt for a system that helps you access, process, and collaborate data without navigating through the sea of unstructured data generated each minute.

 Features of Work Flow Management System
  • Access control based on roles

A good WMS must allow role-level access without disrupting the flow of things. It should assist individual members of one system to understand their tasks and responsibilities while also empowering members from other systems to update their status without requiring access to the entire workflow.

  • Easy integration with other cloud-based applications

Long gone are the days when integration was a good-to-have feature; it has become a necessity in the current digital business landscape. This is because one workflow in an organizational ecosystem does not function independently or in isolation from the other workflows. So the tool must allow different files, folders, cash-flows, calendars, and many other data pieces to run within the organisation smoothly.

  • Customisable notifications

An automated workflow must not require constant meddling or manual inputs. It should rather continue working until the task is completed without regular follow-ups. And this can be achieved via notifications that remind you of the upcoming tasks and activities. Moreover, these notifications must be customisable as per the need of the workflow to receive the proper notification when and where you need them.

  • Parallel Branching

Workflows are simple, linear, sequential tasks with predictable paths. However, businesses and their functions are not always so linear, predictable and certain. Therefore, the workflow management system must allow you to easily add a new branch of activity in any workflow without having to take computer science classes or consulting an expert.

  • Security and Privacy

This is quite an obvious one. Numerous business functions involve sensitive and confidential data. With all this data flowing through an automated system and you are trusting a vendor with it, its security and privacy become of utmost significance. From data encryption to access controls, the workflow management system must offer all features with security at the core.

Apart from the key features mentioned above, reasonable and transparent pricing is also something you must consider. Though it is not a feature of the system, it plays a crucial role as you would not want to empty your pockets in the name of multiple features.

Here’s the thing, the current hyper-competitive market witnesses a new player every other day, bringing newer and better options for you. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully examine and compare these alternatives and their features and functionalities wisely to enjoy the most suitable solution that fits perfectly with your requirements.

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