A workflow management system (WMS or WfMS) is a software application that helps to optimize typical business operations for maximum efficiency. WMS demands the design of forms to collect data and the digitization of a sequence of operations that the data must take until it is appropriately processed. When shopping for a workflow management system (WMS), seek for anything that:
• Allows users to automate repetitive procedures
• Instantly follows up on unfinished activities in the process.
• Provides a comprehensive picture of the workflow as well as performance indicators.
To provide the genuine value-for-money that a WMS claims, it must include these ten critical features. Don't settle for a system that can't keep up with your workflow and isn't efficient.
There are ten features that every workflow management system should include.
1. A user-friendly, code-free workflow designer
If you ask a project manager to develop a workflow, she will most likely draw a straight line with critical steps in the process requiring input, authorization, or denial. If you ask a programmer to create software for billing approval workflow, it will resemble Oedipus' family tree. A sound workflow management system lets you conceptualize in simple linear loops while the complex stuff is handled in the background.
2. Form designer using WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get)
There is no reason for a form designer to be anything less than fantastic in 2021. It must be drag-and-drop. And fields of all kinds are required. Text, figures, maps, computations, drop-down menus, and more are all available! If you are not immediately impressed with your workflow management system's form designer, the possibilities are you will outgrow it quickly. Your form designer needs to be intuitive and straightforward, and it should not require the assistance of a specialist.
3. Integration with other cloud-based applications
Integration was once considered a nice-to-have element in workflow management. It is now critical. Workflows do not work in isolation from other processes. Documents, sales reports, and other data should flow effortlessly from your workflow platform to your CMS, calendar, mail, financial apps, and other apps.
4. Cloud computing technologies
The cloud vs. on-premises debate is nearly finished. Selecting an on-premise solution is akin to counting on MySpace making a comeback. And it's not just about having admin rights to your data from everywhere. It all comes down to who is in control of upgrades and maintenance. It is all about data privacy and compliance. It is about forming a relationship with a vendor rather than making a one-time transaction. If you want to make your workflow management solution helpful for your team, it must be hosted in the cloud.
5. Reports based on key performance indicators (KPIs)
There are numerous workflow tools available that will allow you to construct a simple routine. However, if you are concerned about hitting a new efficiency level, you will require solid reporting options. A robust KPI-based reporting tool in your WMS will allow you to observe and evaluate the constraints and where you should concentrate your efforts.
6. Indicators of SLA status
A sound workflow management system will serve as your one-stop store for all of your organization's core procedures. As a result, your workflow tool may be performing more than 30 workflows at any given time. Should you consider displaying all of these on a panel, you'll need a technique to ensure that you're staying on top of all of your duties. SLA indicators can help you determine which tasks are the most important and which can wait while tackling other responsibilities. Your WMS dashboard should employ color codes or a similar tool to attract your attention to the most critical activities.
7. Updates when and where they are required
The secret to automated workflows is that they never have to be pushed. As with a pinewood derby car, once you start a new procedure, it should continue until it is completed without the need for anybody to intervene. Notifications are essential in this type of flow. A good company Workflow Management System will send reminders via email or text alerts on your mobile device to remind you of upcoming approvals. Users should be able to tailor the type of notifications they get.
8. parallel strands
Although all workflows are sequential, some are distinct. Some sequential steps can occur concurrently. Accept a flight booking or a purchase order. It follows a well-defined path, but what if it is for overseas travel? You might need a different track for passports and other trip-related details. Adding this level of complexity should be simple and should not necessitate a computer science degree. You should be able to add a branch and conditional tasks right from the form.
9. Access control based on roles
Many workflows feature confidential information that should not be disclosed to everyone involved in the process. Every Workflow Management Program enables you to limit what each user sees and edits. A quick adjustment to this phase of the procedure should not damage it or impact previous requests.
10. Price transparency
Why invest a large sum of money in technology that may bring you more problems than worth? What if you only want to optimize one process involving a small number of people? Is it still necessary to invest a large sum of money? The perfect Workflow Management System features a monthly pay-as-you-go approach in which the prices include all operating costs, and you only pay for the number of users who visit the system.
Choose a tool that is upfront and will not give you higher costs when the first invoice arrives. Keep these ten factors in mind while you research your possibilities. When making your workflows quick and flawless, don't settle for anything less than the best.