/ Using workflow management apps to boost productivity in your business
Using workflow management apps to boost productivity in your business
We live in a world of increasing complexity. While each of us is given the same number of hours each day, the needs and expectations placed upon those hours continue to grow. We’re asked to do more, with fewer resources – and that includes our businesses and enterprises.
In order to keep up and stay ahead of the competition, we need to be efficient and effective in how we work. That means streamlining our processes, automating where possible, and making sure everyone is on the same page.
But what exactly is workflow management—and is there a way to use the power of business intelligence (BI) tools to enhance it? Let’s take a closer look.
What is workflow management?
Workflow management involves the creation, execution, and monitoring of workflows. A workflow is simply a set of tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve a specific goal.
For example, imagine you’re a project manager who needs to get a new website up and running. There are a number of tasks that need to be completed in order to make this happen, including:
Designing the website
Coding the website
Testing the website
Deploying the website
Each of these tasks needs to be completed in order, and there are likely dependencies between them. The coding of the website, for example, can’t begin until the design is finalized.
Workflow management systems help you track and manage these tasks, ensuring that everything happens in the right order and that nothing is forgotten. They can also help you identify bottlenecks and optimize your process to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
There are a number of different workflow management systems available, ranging from simple to-do list apps to more complex project management tools.
While BI is often thought of as a way to generate reports and dashboards, its true power lies in its ability to help us make better decisions. The more data we can collect and utilize, the better equipped we are to make informed decisions about our work.
This is where the concept of a data-driven workflow comes in. By using data to drive our decisions, we can optimize our workflow to be as efficient and effective as possible.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to decide which tasks should be automated and which should be completed manually. By analyzing data about how long each task takes to complete and how often they’re repeated, you can make an informed decision about what’s the best course of action.
BI helps improve workflows
BI can also be used to identify exceptions and problems in our workflow. Imagine that you have a process that requires approval from a manager before it can proceed. By tracking the number of times this approval is given, you can quickly identify any bottlenecks in the process.
Exception reporting can also be used to identify issues that need to be addressed. For example, if you’re collecting data about how often tasks are completed late, you can use this information to take corrective action.
What are the benefits of using a workflow management app?
There are a number of benefits to using a workflow management app, ranging from enhanced efficiency to improved customer service.
A well-run workflow management system can help you deliver high-quality customer service. By automating tasks and ensuring that things happen in the right order, you can minimize the chances of mistakes happening.
BI can help you make better decisions by giving you access to data that can help you optimize your workflow. This leads to increased efficiency and improved productivity.
How do I go about building a workflow management app?
There are a number of different ways to build a workflow management app, ranging from simple to-do list apps to more complex project management tools. The best way to choose the right solution for your needs is to evaluate your options and select the one that best meets your requirements.
Knowing the goals you have for your workflow management can ensure that you properly utilize and track your progress.
Step 2: Evaluate your workflow
Once you know your goals, it’s time to take a closer look at your current operational workflow. This will help you identify any areas that can be improved or automated.
When evaluating your workflow, pay close attention to:
How tasks are assigned
How tasks are completed
How tasks are tracked
How exceptions are handled
By understanding your workflow and where there are potential problems, you can begin to look for solutions.
Step 3: Select the right tool
Now that you know what you want and how to improve your workflow, it’s time to leverage the pre-built automation capabilities of your BI tool. Not all BI tools allow for workflow automation, so it’s important to choose one that provides functionality beyond visualization.
Some factors you may want to consider when choosing a workflow-automation enabled solution include:
Does the tool have the ability to automatically ingest data?
Does the tool allow for alerts based on custom thresholds or conditions?
Does the tool provide data transformation functionality?
Once you’ve selected the right tool, it’s time to start building your app.
Step 4: Build your app
Now that you’ve selected the right tool, it’s time to start building your app. This process will vary depending on the tool you choose, but most apps allow you to create custom workflows that match your needs.
When building your app, be sure to:
Define your goals
Understand your workflow
Select the right tool
Build your app
By following these steps, you can create a workflow management system that meets your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
The right visualizations
When building your workflow management app, make sure to pay close attention to how you utilize data and visualizations. If your app users can’t make sense of the data you’re presenting, it will be of little use to them.
Instead, focus on creating visualizations that are clear and easy to understand. Here are some examples:
This type of chart is great for visualizing task dependencies and progress. For example, you can use a Gantt chart to show the progress of a project and the different tasks that need to be completed.
Timeline visualizations are perfect for visualizing events over time. For example, you could use a timeline to show when tasks are due to be completed or when deadlines are looming.
A tree visualization is perfect for showing the relationships between different tasks. For example, you could use a tree to show which tasks need to be completed before others can begin.
By using the right visualizations, you can ensure that your workflow management app is easy to use and understand.
Examples of workflow apps
Workflows come in all shapes and sizes, and they are usually very unique to your business. Here are are a few examples of workflows that your business is already probably familiar with:
One of the most important aspects of workflow management is the approval process. This is the process by which tasks are approved or rejected.
The approval process can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. However, there are some key elements that should be included in every approval process.
First, you need to identify who is responsible for approving or rejecting tasks. This could be a single individual or a group of people.
Next, you need to determine how tasks are approved or rejected. This could be done manually or through an automated system.
Finally, you need to establish a process for handling exceptions. This is the process by which tasks that are not approved are handled.
By including these elements in your approval process, you can ensure that tasks are properly approved or rejected.
Exception reporting is the process of tracking and reporting on errors in your workflow. This is important because it allows you to identify and fix errors quickly.
There are two types of exception reporting: manual and automated.
Manual exception reporting is the process of tracking errors manually. This can be done by recording them in a spreadsheet or using another type of tracking system.
Automated exception reporting is the process of tracking errors automatically. This can be done through a software program or a service.
By tracking and reporting on errors, you can ensure that your workflow is running smoothly.
One of the most important aspects of workflow management is the intake form. This is the form that tasks are submitted through.
The intake form should be designed to collect all of the necessary information about a task. This includes the task name, description, and contact information for the person who submitted the task.
By using an intake form, you can ensure that all of the necessary information is collected. This will make it easier to process and track tasks.