Technology

Understanding Workflow Models to Make Yours Effective

Define the execution of every step of your workflow by creating workflow models. Workflow enables you to analyze processes in your business and make them efficient.

Introduction

Is your business missing deadlines, making errors, providing a poor customer experience, or struggling to innovate your products and services? These are the problems you would face with a poor workflow. Every year, over half of all businesses experience project failure. Above mentioned scenarios get familiar, and it is not a good sign. 

You can't continue to do the same thing and expect different outcomes. However, many firms continue relying on failing processes and technology rather than taking the time to recognize, analyze, and address the actual issue.

Here in this article, you learn how to keep your team on your side and hold them accountable. And how to create an efficient workflow?

What is a workflow?

Workflow is the accumulation of all tasks that are assigned by resources to achieve a business goal. Workflow is used by organizations to coordinate tasks, improve organizational efficiency, increase responsiveness, and generate profitability. Workflow can be sequential, with each step dependent on the completion of the preceding one, or parallel, with numerous processes taking place at the same time. 

Workflow explains the phases in a business work process, as well as how these steps can be completed and automated according to a set of procedural standards.

What is a workflow model?

To prevent delays, the concept of the workflow was significant in streamlining manufacturing or informational processes.

A workflow model is a set of well-defined procedures that you take to accomplish a certain business goal. Workflows are used to apply rules and policies that serve as guidance in creating a procedure. For example, workflow models can assist you in streamlining the onboarding process and ensuring that newly hired recruits have consistent experiences. 

A workflow model allows your team to track each stage of the process and guarantees that nothing is overlooked. It provides you with total process visibility.

How do workflow models improve your business?

Access inefficiencies & positives 

Developing a workflow process provides you with a better grasp of an organization's everyday activities from initiation to completion. You will be able to rapidly discover inefficiencies and loss, as well as areas for improvement. You can also access your employee's strengths and talents to assign them tasks accordingly for better output.

Cutting costs & making more profits

Organizations often discover that they require fewer resources as workflow processes are standardized, and work is completed more quickly. Getting more tasks done with less money, saves money and boosts profitability. The workflow also cuts costs by identifying areas of automation. 

Recruits initiate a series of actions, such as authorizing system access and assigning business assets, throughout the employee onboarding process can become time-consuming and can be automated to focus on more important tasks.

Improving communication & transparency

Employees know the necessary channels of communication and where to go to receive answers to their questions when a workflow procedure is in place. You define the employer's responsibilities with workflow. Employees understand what they must accomplish and what to expect, which increases trust and job happiness.

Micromanagement troubles

Employee performance suffers as a result of micromanagement, and employee talent is underused.  A workflow method ensures that employees regularly perform predefined tasks and carry them out by the deadline. You might devote less time to micromanagement and more to crucial business choices.

Improve communication & compliance

Automated tasks and standardized procedures reduce human error, resulting in fewer costly human errors. You can remove manual chores, allowing workers to devote more time to customer service. Furthermore, you can also improve the customer experience by streamlining customer communication operations.

How to build your workflow model?

With all that is said above, you aim to develop a workflow process that is identical for everyone in your firm and makes task completion more efficient. Here are the things you need to keep in mind while developing a workflow model

Define existing resources & processes

Who is responsible for each step of the process, and what do they require to succeed? If you don't know the answers right away, you may need to spend some time monitoring the task from beginning to end. Preliminary research can allow you to identify unnecessary and complicated tasks and additional resources to make the process easier.

List the steps of your workflow

Outline the steps of the process in detail using your newly acquired resource and workflow knowledge. You may need to go through several revisions of this plan as you make adjustments and gather input. Involve the folks who will be using the workflow daily. Make any necessary changes to the workflow to make it as easy and efficient as feasible.

Define Roles

You must define the duties and roles for every task, helping to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities at every stage of the workflow. Without a clear understanding of the tasks and their stages, you might group tasks and, in the worst case, miss some. Making it clear which roles are responsible for what can help you increase the efficiency of your workflow model.

How to test your workflow model

Workflow testing means bringing the production environment into the testing stage so that it can be examined from the perspective of the end user. The test database must contain enough test data for each workflow task to be completely tested. Workflow activities link with other software platforms whose functions are defined in the business operations.

The testing of correctness for workflow processes has become increasingly important in today's environment as workflows get more complicated, increasing the risk of errors.

In these scenarios, a test plan comes in handy because it allows you to test and guarantee that all tasks have been addressed in the testing process. The workflow testing processes are as follows:

  • Assessing business workflow.
  • Creating test cases using a variety of test case design methods (boundary value, decision table, etc.)
  • Verification of various workflows with various sets of user types and rights.
  • Carrying out positive and negative tests.
  • Defect logging based on the gap between expected and actual outcomes.

Top tips for improving your workflow

Examine the existing workflow

The first step in enhancing workflow is to list each activity and then conduct a detailed review. Your goal here is to determine how you have been operating to this point and what has gone wrong.

Determine important areas of focus 

Look for areas for improvement and identify elements that can or are affecting the effectiveness of your current process or workflow. Scale the gaps to create a more polished representation of your workflow process.

Breakdown & prioritize tasks

The next stage is to split your work task into smaller, more manageable portions. Keep your process simple, divide it into separate parts, and focus solely on the preferred outcome. Examine your list of tasks and assign a priority to each one. This will not only help you maintain your workflow, but it will also help you attain the best results at the end of each step.

Documentation 

You must define each stage of the process you are doing. You cannot perform every task from memory. Document what is actually happening and ensure that everything is functioning properly.

Automation

Workflow tasks are error-prone when done manually; human errors in a modern workplace can be avoided by workflow modeling software solutions. These are designed mainly to assist your business in streamlining its processes and operations.

Workflow testing

The greatest way to determine the efficacy of your new, better work process or workflow is to test it. To do so, you must assess how it responds to the real-world workplace environment.

Evolving workflow model

After launching your workflow, return to the model on a regular basis to ensure that it is still working properly and to find any areas for development. Collect data on how the workflow model functions and determine if any of its components can be revised to improve efficiency. You may later adapt the workflow model rather than construct a new one for process changes.

Evolve your workflow with Scribe

You can use a process automation platform like Scribe to interact efficiently, securely save your company data, and effortlessly ensure your workflow process documentation is always up to date.

Scribe auto-generates step-by-step guides — writing your process documentation for you. If you've lost hours to manual documentation and training, Scribe is the solution for you.

Here's one in action.

Scribe standardized business operations, boosted efficiency, decreased documentation inaccuracies, improved service quality, and finally hiked profit.

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Conclusion

Managing a few workflows is straightforward. However, as you roll out new workflows throughout your organization, things become more challenging. Workflow models are helpful tools for getting a high-level overview of your workflows.

Using them can assist in streamlining your business procedures and increasing overall efficiency. To manage your workflow models, though, you'll need a workflow management system. 

We already know that no work process or workflow is flawless. Once you've improved your present work process or adopted the new workflow, be prepared to tweak it over time. Use automation tools like Scribe to help you stay updated with your workflow processes.