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A workflow is, essentially, a series of repeatable steps needed to take to achieve some sort of business goal. Without the right software, however, workflows are nowhere near as effective as they can be. Digital workflow software super-charges your workflows, increasing efficiency & allowing for automation.
What is Digital Workflow Software, Exactly?
Digital workflow software is the most efficient way to manage and track your workflows. It allows you to keep track of your workflows (deadlines, progress, etc.) as well as measure their efficiency. It’s useful for all sorts of things, from sending onboarding new employees to collecting data.
It also ensures consistency – you get to define each step in the process, and your employees have next to no way of messing it up.
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Settling for basic and cheap project or task management tools is the biggest mistake you can ever make. You get what you pay for. If you try to save a cent - you will lose a dollar. Wasted time (at $40/hour) is far more expensive than the cost of software. There's a huge difference between process management and project or task management. Processes relieve stress, make things predictable - and help you grow and become efficient. Projects and tasks are just ad-hoc, unpredictable chaos.
It's important to understand that context before you carry on reading. Successful people are smart enough to fundamentally change the way they work "right now" and amaze themselves and everyone else with new ideas. You can stop fighting uphill battles every day immediately - and drive more personal success in your career by introducing the modern way of creating, tracking and even enjoying tasks with your coworkers.
Anyway ... sorry for the interruption! Let's resume the rest of the article.
Digital workflow software is the best way to eliminate guesswork from your business and create seamless processes that all of your employees can follow.
Are you looking to document and run your processes?
Don't use MS Word or Google Docs, and don't use flowcharts.
Documenting your processes using flowcharts might look pretty and nice – but you can’t run them. Even worse – nobody looks at flowcharts.SEE WHY HERE
5 Things You Should Look for in Digital Workflow Software
Picking the right software, however, can be a bit complicated – there’s a bunch of tools on the market, each with their own spin on workflow management. To make it easier for you, here are 5 things you’d look for in the right digital workflow software:
Simple (But Powerful) Form Designer
In most cases, you won’t have someone with a Ph.D. in computer science designing the workflow. Rather, it’s probably someone in the middle management – someone with no coding knowledge whatsoever.
The digital workflow software should have a simple enough form designer that can be used by a first-time user without any training, onboarding, or expensive outside process consultants. It should, however, also have complex capabilities, allowing for a high degree of customization with the form.
Today, unless you’re using a cloud-based appl, you really are wasting resources. The other is to actually have the software installed on your servers, and that can be extremely time-consuming. This is usually the case with legacy business process management software (something like a predecessor to workflow management); it takes a team of skilled IT and a lot of time to set it up for your business. And to make things worse, whenever there’s any kind of issues with the software, you’ll have to call back the IT guys and hope they can fix it in time and on budget.
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Anyway ... we'll continue from where we left off above.
With the cloud, however, all you have to do is go online, register, and set it up. This makes the process significantly cheaper since all you have to do is pay the monthly software fees.
Depending on the process, there’s can be a varying degree of urgency. One workflow might need a simple approval within the duration of a week, while the other might need an urgent meeting set up ASAP.
The right digital workflow software will allow for different types of notifications (email, phone, etc.), as well as the ability to prioritize different steps. Think, if the step is “urgent,” you’ll get a ringing notification on your phone as opposed to a passive email.
One of the most important reasons you’d adopt digital workflow software is because of its process improvement capabilities. To do this properly, however, you’d need to track and analyze the KPIs for your processes.
Any workflow software should have a single dashboard that gives you insight into how well each of your processes is doing, as well as spotting any missed deadlines or bottlenecks.
Seamless Integration With Other Apps
With older software, you’d need an IT army to figure out how to one piece of software to another. This tends to make automation extremely complicated and expensive. Which is a bit ironic, since workflows are rarely limited to working with just one system.
To be able to get the maximum out of workflow automation, you’d need to connect your digital workflow software to all the other tools you use. Thankfully, the right software allows for seamless integration with other SaaS apps, allowing for limitless automation capabilities.
What’s YOUR favorite workflow app? Is there any must-have feature we might have missed? Do let us know down in the comments!