5 Questions to Gauge Your Workflow Management Process
Blog: The Data Center
If you are responsible for keeping your organization humming, you have probably spent more time than you care to admit thinking about workflow management. Are our workflows enabling our operations as efficiently as they could? Do our business rules still match our operational realities? Is there a better way to perform this function?
The questions can seem endless.
Of course, once your mind begins to race, you can be left feeling lost and without a solid place to start. When that happens, it is important to remember that workflows are a great way to enhance productivity and more efficiently use resources—but they also take continual care and evaluation.
So whether you have completed workflow analysis before or you are just embarking on your first attempt, here are five key questions you should include in your workflow analysis efforts.
1. How often are existing workflows and rules evaluated?
Even with the most comprehensive planning and organizational engagement, no work process or workflow is going to be perfect forever. Does your organization have a method to evaluate how existing workflows and rules fit current business needs? Is there a governance process in place to oversee this function?
After spending plenty of resources to establish workflows, it can be daunting to consider changing them. However, there are modern workflow management solutions that make it easy to refine your processes and adjust them to meet your new reality with simple click-and-drag technology.
2. Are your workflows able to handle time-sensitive activities?
Workflows are there to keep the wheels of your organization turning efficiently—especially those that could have negative internal or external impacts if they are not completed in a timely manner. If your workflows leave contracts, invoices, or other important documentation hanging because of a lack of definition or integration, your organization may already be feeling the strain.
Utilizing workflow automation tools can help to streamline these processes, create alerts, and seamlessly integrate across platforms to keep important operations moving forward.
3. How many people are owners of each step of your workflows?
A key reason why workflows help to facilitate business operations is because they require an owner to be identified for each step in the process flow. This owner makes sure the process step is completed with the required input and according to its business rules. But what happens if there is not a clear owner or if there are too many owners involved in a process?
If there are too many owners, a process can become too complex or linger when there is a dispute over who should take action. Workflow automation helps to clarify this because it requires organizations to establish clear ownership for each step, lowering the chances for miscommunication.
4. How are changes or deviations to workflows handled?
Evolution, innovation, and change are natural parts of organizational growth, but these forces can easily leave your workflows obsolete. Therefore, it is important for organizations to have process management procedures in place to identify where variation may occur, what tolerance is acceptable, and when a change needs to be made.
Fortunately, modern workflow automation tools like Decisions’ no-code software provide businesses with the ability to easily adapt their rules or business processes without expensive and time-consuming rework.
5. How frequently are there bottlenecks in your workflows?
Although it is not uncommon for a business process to experience a delay, understanding the frequency with which this happens across your operations can point to larger issues. Digging deeper into these bottlenecks could reveal a need for change because of communication issues, documentation challenges, or poor task visibility.
With an automated workflow solution like Decisions, organizations can have a digital record of workflow steps, rules, and process status, so bottlenecks can be identified and speed bumps removed.
Taking the Next Step
If your organization isn’t able to answer these questions to your satisfaction—or at all—this may be only the tip of the iceberg. But do not lose hope. Your organization may just need a more modern platform in place to help keep your workflows in lockstep with the evolution of your brand.
Workflow automation software like Decisions can be a game changer for organizations that may find themselves struggling to improve day-to-day operations in situations like these. Want to see it for yourself? Download our workflow automation e-book or contact us for a demo to see our solution for yourself.
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