20 Essential Features Your Workflow Software Must Have

What Is The Workflow?

To understand what a workflow management software usually does, we must first understand what is a workflow. A workflow can be said as a series of operations of a business, organization, firm or of an individual which consists of complicated mechanisms.

Taking the definition of the workflow on a higher note, we can define workflow as a representation or view of the real work. We can define the flow as services, document, or product, which is getting transformed and transferred from one stage to its successive stage. Workflow is the basic building block of processes of tasks combined with numerous elements of the structure of organization such as IT, hierarchies, projects, and teams.

Let us put it simply. Workflow depicts the process by which people do their work and can be explained as a sequence of steps, which need to be performed in a particular series. A workflow is a series of tasks, which work on a set of information or data. Workflows are a part of every kind of industry and business. Whenever data or information is passed between systems or humans, a workflow is built. Workflow depicts the route, which describes how a particular thing goes travels from its initial stage to its final stage or becomes processed from a raw form.

Workflows occur throughout the workspace. Some of the workflows are structures, while others are not structured. But whenever workflow exists, there is a transfer of data from one task to the other. The workflows are of three types- process workflow, case workflow, and project workflow.

In a process workflow, all the tasks are repetitive and predictable. This implies that whenever an item initiates the workflow, you know the exact path, which it is going to take. The workflow of the business process is designed to handle an infinite number of items.

On the other hand, in case of a case workflow, the user does not know the path taken by the item to reach its processes stage. The path is decided based on data gathered during the various stages of the workflow. The path keeps on revealing itself as more and more data gets assembled. It can be summed up that there is no one can predict the clear path which the item follows and as the item progresses, the path gets revealed progressively. Alike process workflow, case workflow can handle an unlimited number of items. However, case workflows are dependent on artificial or human intelligence to discern the precise path.

Furthermore, Project workflows follow a structured path similar to process workflow. However, they are more flexible than project workflow. Project workflow can handle only one item at a time.

What Is Workflow Management?

Workflow management can be defined as the management of automation and execution of processes of business where information, documents, and tasks are transferred from an individual to the other for operation in accordance with the predefined rules. The organization requires workflow management to synchronize the tasks amidst individuals and coordinate information between applications and systems. The ultimate objective of workflow management is to improve the efficiency, profitability, and responsiveness of the organization.

Workflow management results in an improvement in productivity and transparency of the process render quick reactions and improve the accountability of the business processes. The workflow management looks after the automation of the flow of activities and tasks of employees while reducing the time taken by the processes to complete. Along with this, it reduces the occurrence of potential problems, which arise due to manual interactions. Workflow management increases the efficiency, compliance, agile and visibility of all steps of the business process by ensuring that all the steps of the process are explicitly stated, monitored and optimized to obtain utmost productivity. It enables the users to process the data on time and helps them to take quick and smart actions.

Let us understand workflow management with an example

You hire an employee for your organization with the objective of accomplishing a particular goal. The newly hired employee becomes a member of the staff. The HR, recruiter and hiring managers work together in coordination to perform the task of hiring the employee. Several processes are needed to hire the employee, such as gathering information and studying his background, educational qualifications, and experience. Moreover, some tasks might demand some additional information. Then, the final decision is made- whether the company will hire the candidate or not.

When the process of hiring succeeds, the members associated with the process of hiring need to work in coordination to accomplish numerous goals. After an individual is hired, the list of employees and the vacant positions need to be updated.

Similarly, workflow management can be stated as coordination of undertakings, which are a part of a business process. The main objective of workflow is to obtain the desired result and the goal of workflow management is to obtain improved results as per the list of goals.

Workflow management is basically, an organized discipline, which focuses on the design of work of some organization and how the teams associate to obtain the desired result. Workflow management can be aided with the use of workflow management software, which increases the proficiency and speed of the process. Although workflow management is related to the type of work performed by the people. However, the tasks can be automated with the use of application and software.

What Is Workflow Management Software?

As a progressive step taken towards automation, several companies or organizations rely on a system for managing their business processes to scale their productivity. This is where workflow management software comes into action.

A workflow management system (abbreviated for WfMS or WMS) is an application built for streamlining the processes of a business to achieve optimal proficiency. The systems comprise creating a kind of data and laying the sequential route of undertakings to be followed by the data until the entire processing is completed. It automates the path of the data towards predetermined jobs.

The organization of tasks and business processes depends on the workflow of daily activities. The sequence of the tasks is predefined and asks the employees to carry out the tasks along the same route. A workflow management software facilitates the setup, monitoring, and execution of the workflow of the organization. It assists the companies to gain better command over the specific and standard workflow procedures. Workflow management software aims to make sure that the workflows and processes across automated and manual tasks are in a synchronized manner.

The workflow management software is a tool, which automates the processes of a business, organization or a company. The processes performed by the software follows a series of steps and can be automated with the use of workflow management software. However, some tasks might involve some manual intervention, such as denial, approval, or development of the text. With the advancement in the software, the users can incorporate new elements in the operation of the application.

Workflow management software is a smarter way of managing the processes and operations of a business. It helps in managing the workflows faster and conveniently. Your business becomes more productive with workflow software management. It cuts off a lot of labour costs while making the workflow process efficient. Manage even complex processes with utmost ease with workflow management software. It enables the integration of customer flow optimization and back-office automation. The system offers friendly tools, which help you to manage your tasks efficiently and to handle the flow of items and information. Along with this, it monitors the processes of business, obtains analysis reports of performance and gets real-time notifications.

The workflow management software organizes your work procedures, along with enforcing the rules of your business by a proper organization of time and priorities. It acts as a middleware tool which connects back-offices, branches and other centres of the enterprise to achieve full command over the customer-centric procedures. The management software offers a flexible method of addressing the requirements of the business.

The workflow automation software creates routing laws based on parameters in which, the resolution of a step decides the upcoming step. It automates the creation of a new task and allocates the tasks to specific targets.

What Does Workflow Software Do?

The workflow management software streamlines the processes of business and makes it easy and convenient for the users to carry out the activities and various procedures of the business. It renders functionalities for automation, collaboration, and synchronization of multiple or single processes. It offers a platform where the users can view performance and process metrics to find out whether a procedure demands acceleration or improvement. Most often, redundant and constant tasks provide organizational productivity as an outcome each time the work gets completed. A workflow management system streamlines all the tasks of the business process to increase productivity and to guarantee a follow-up of tasks, which have not been completed in the process.

Instead of making use of diagrams with complex structures, the management software encodes the series of tasks in the workflow process and provides electronic access to all the users. The system automatically allocates the data to the user who will perform the next step. Along with allocating the data, it notifies the users, and send reminders if the users are not delivering the tasks on time to ensure that the business standards are being followed and the work is being done on time. Moreover, the advanced workflow software provides a visual diagram to the users so that they can easily understand the series of the tasks and undertakings.

Workflow management software simplifies the management of workflow of business with the use of technology and the internet. The system works with numerous processes of business from employing new employees to managing the facilities of maintenance. It is a flexible tool, which helps you to define your processes of work in steps and follow these steps for consistency in work and also, to avoid mistakes. It helps the users to report and measures result and aid you in learning the areas, where your business excels and what are the areas where there is a scope of development.

Let us see some points, which tell us about what does workflow management software do.

  • Helps the users to streamline the repetitive procedures of business

•    Enable creation and assignment of tasks

•    Offers an infrastructure where the tasks can be created and executed

•    Depicts the tasks which are involved in every step of the business process

•    Provides automatic follow-ups of unfinished tasks of the business process

•    Helps to synchronize the tasks in all the stages of the process

•    Defines execute and check the workflow

•    Adapts the modifications or advancements while the process continues

•    Synchronizes the operation of all the components which comprise the workflow

•    Renders workflow visibility along with metrics on performance analysis

•    Offers a platform, which provides a set of tools to make the work easy and convenient for the users

How Does Workflow Management Software Work?

A chain of processes and tasks can be stated as a workflow. It comprises a list of tasks in sequential order, within a company, business, organization, which results in an outcome and the task, is said to be completed. A workflow management software helps you to define numerous tasks in the stages or links along with the list of tasks.

Workflow can be defined as a series of undertakings, which results in an outcome. When you have an efficient system for accomplishing the tasks, things become smooth and convenient. The consistency of work increases and you are less likely to miss any steps while performing the task. A business consists of endless processes, some of which are documented and prescribed, whereas others develop during various work processes. When you get some kind of aid or support to carry out the process of your business, the efficiency of the work increases. In this manner, the organizations and businesses can enhance the effectiveness of their work and ensure that their services and products are of high quality. Thus, a workflow management software is a helpful tool for the development and growth of business and organizations.

Let us understand the working procedure of a workflow management software with an example.

Let us consider the example of a publishing company. When content or a document is created, it goes through several stages. It needs to clear all the stages before it goes for publication or final print. From the writer who has created the content, it will go to the person who edits the content. Succeeding, it will be reviewed and approved by the specific individuals, proofreading will be done to check for errors, before passing the content to the production team. The production team will design the content and present it in a layout, which appeals to the readers. Finally, the content will be out for publishing.

In the above example, a group of individuals takes part in the entire process and each individual has a specific role to perform. Likewise, when a task of a particular stage gets completed in the workflow, the software ensures that the individual who has to perform the task in the next stage gets notified about it and the material or data travels to him automatically.

Thus, the software acts as a director who defines, coordinates and automates the tasks, which are involved in all the stages of the workflow process. Along with this, it notifies the people about the upcoming tasks. From the point of origin of concept will the point of completion of the task, the management software manages and coordinates it all. It delivers the outcome in an efficient and streamlined manner.

The quintessential features workflow software should possess

Given below are some of the amazing features, which a workflow management system must possess.

  • Codeless Workflow Design

Say no to hiring expensive programmers with the intuitive and visual interface of your workflow system, which helps you to design your workflows efficiently.

  •  WYSIWYG Form Designer

The workflow management software system encourages coordination and collaboration from the users. It offers a simple form which can be filled by the users and you can view it in real-time.

Drag and Drop Visual Development Tools

Forms are a crucial element of your workflow as they form the interface via which your customers interact with you. Thus, with the help of your workflow software, you must be able to make forms, which appear great and work excellent for your business.

KPI-Based Reports

The software gives you the required visibility, which you need to look in the workflow of your business. It helps you to study and analyze the areas where there are obstacles and where you must focus on rendering remedies or where there are chances of improvements.

SLA Status Indicators

When you automate the processes of business, you must know which processes are on track and which are not. The workflow management software makes use of codes of colour or some other similar features to alert you about the areas and processes where you need to focus and work upon.

  • Role-Based Access Control

The workflows of business might contain some sensitive information which is not accessible and applicable to all. The workflow software must enable you to control and customize the information, which the users can see and edit it based on their role.

Integration with Other Services

The workflow systems must be able to work with other software, systems, services, and processes. All the vital components of the business process, such as reports, documents, cashflows, contact details, etc. must be a part of the workflow itself.

Cloud-Based Technology

A workflow software must enable you to access and retrieve your data from any part of the world.

Notifications and Reminders Anywhere, Anytime You Need Them

There may be instances when the users could not pay attention or forget about some tasks. In such cases, it is necessary to remind the users about the incoming tasks. A good workflow management system must provide timely notifications and reminders to users.

Parallel Branches

Although, the workflow is sequential, there are some steps which can take place parallelly. You might need to manage two items or tasks at the same time. At this moment, a workflow management software which can manage parallel branches comes handy.

Process flexibility

You cannot waste your time by adapting the workflows as per the situation every time. Thus, the workflows and processes must be manageable and flexible so that the users are able to carry out the operation smoothly.

Top 5 Software of Workflow Management

Workflow management software is tools, which the businesses utilize to manage their processes and automate the repeatable processes of a business. The software does not demand coding or programming and thus, saves a lot of time and money.

Given below are some popular workflow management software-

1.  Frevvo

Frevvo is a 100% visual workflow software extensively used worldwide by mid as well as large-sized business, non-profit & government organizations, which include K-12 schools and universities also. It helps to automate daily workflow like leave approval, travel authorization, purchase orders and much more. One can easily use its visual designer and wizards to develop and manage highly productive, fully automated, streamlined workflows. This flawless, low-code, simplistic approach helps the organizations to be productive, digitalize better with existing human resource much more effectively at an optimized budget. You can enjoy a free trial of 30 days with all the features while you sign up. You can also request for a demo.

2. Nintex

Nintex is excellent software, which is designed to automate the business processes smartly. It automates the process of content management podium and collaboration. When the content is available in numerous formats and from multiple formats, the Nintex software routes them to the respective recipients. The Nintex workflow management software can optimize the business processes, integrate the content and prepare ways for smooth and swift collaboration for the users. Moreover, the people-driven design streamlines the business processes while offering flexible schemes for pricing for large, medium and small businesses.

3.    Kissflow

Kissflow is a cloud-based platform providing workflow management services to businesses. It enables its users to build, design, and deploy applications of business processes without the use of coding. The Kissflow software takes into consideration a lightweight approach, which empowers non-coding members to a model workflow. It relies on a smart visual creator, which is very easy to use.

The Kissflow workflow management software provides a simple and intelligent visual interface, which consists of a drag-and-drop attribute, which helps the users to build things such as tables, forms, and fields, which are pre-populated.

4.    Process maker

Process maker workflow management software is a tool built for workflows, which are based on approvals. It streamlines and enhances the flow of information via tasks and systems. If you want software with low overhead, then ProcessMaker is a good option. Also, it offers an efficient and light approach. Some of the features of Processmaker include dashboards, user management, KPIs, output content creator, and responsive from the designer. Similar to KissFlow software, ProcessMaker also provides a drag-and-drop feature to its users, which helps them to create approved-based or model workflow.

5.    BPM online

BPM online offers an interactive interface which not only is user-friendly but also, provides a suite of workflow solutions. The workflow management software manages and organizes leads, sales, and accounting tasks. The entire software is created for customization. The tools of the software focus on ease of usage and comprise WYSIWYG procedure designing solutions and certain features, which makes collaboration convenient.

Average Cost of Workflow Management

Workflow management is the process through which the path is created for data to complete items in the process. It includes automating the whole process, creating the best possible solution for the workflow and improving areas where new possibilities are open.

The Average cost of Workflow Management differs according to the services provided by the company. Here we will see some of the Workflow management software companies and their services according to the prices.

1.    Quick Base

Quick Base is a workflow management software which focuses on the development of the app and its productivity. This company offers a solution for customization, task automation, reporting. The features which quick base offers are Custom reports, custom branding, mobile-ready applications, Role-based dashboards and audit logs. There are three plans in Quick base which start from $600. The second plan is called “Platform”, which starts at $1920. The difference is the price is the number of business apps available and the premium features of the software.

2.    Laserfiche

Laserfiche is a workflow management software company, which optimizes business processes. This software provides business process automation, file capture, reports and more. Laserfiche also reviews and pricing.

The prices of Laserfiche is not available online. The estimated prices are $60/user/month for Laserfiche Cloud’s basic plan. It includes 100GB per user plus 10GB for 15$.

The features available with this software are Document management, cloud-based data storage, Content capture, Reports, and Audit Trail.

3.    Process Street

Process Street is workflow automation software which is made for teams. The solution offered is running processes such as checklists, tracking progress, collaboration and more.

The features which Process Street includes Unlimited checklists, Document management, process documentation, custom branding, and Workflow automation.

The process Street has three subscription plans: 1) Business($15/member/month) 2) Business Pro ($30/member/month) and the Enterprise (Custom priced).

4.    KissFlow

KiSSFLOW is one of customizable workflow management that has a unique feature of providing automation tools. The software provides employee on-boarding, tailor-made reports, drag-and-drop functionalities.

Some premium features, which KissFlow includes, are workflow automation, Customized reports, employee on-boarding, Travel reimbursement.

Kiss FLOW prices Start from Standard Edition Plan, which costs $9 per user a month for a minimum of 10 users.

5.    GoCanvas

GoCanvas has a feature of lets it automates a daily task from any mobile device. The software lets you collect data, share a document, geo track employees and more.

The features of GoCanvas are Image and signature capture tool, Cloud Storage, Scheduled employee dispatch, Advanced password management. The software provides data analytics too.

The GoCanvas comes in 4 subscriptions. The basic plan is free of cost. The second plan i.e. the “Business Plan”, starts from $51 per user per month. The Professional plan starts from $62. The “Enterprise Plan” is a customized plan

Here we saw that some of the companies provide free workflow Management whereas some of them take as high as $1920 per month. If we were to make an average, it would come around $200 per user per month for good and legitimate workflow automation.

Conclusion

Workflow can be stated as something through which we get our work done. It represents a series of undertakings, which an individual need to perform to reach to accomplish some goal of the business. Here, the keyword involved is ‘repeatable’. This implies that you do not perform a couple of tasks, which are assembled; instead, you perform a sequence of tasks on an everyday basis.

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