Workflows are a sequence of tasks your business carries out on a regular basis. This can be, for example, onboarding a new client or approving a document.Workflow software, on the other hand, is a system that helps automate the process completely or partially.For anyone new to process automation, all this can be a bit confusing. In this guide, we’re going to deep-dive into the nits and grits of workflow software, explaining how it works and how your business benefits from adopting it.
What’s Workflow Software?Workflow software is a tool that automates the flow of work in a process. Before we explain what exactly that means, here’s an introduction to workflows and processes…
|Step 1||HR prepares all the necessary paperwork and sends it to the new hire|
|Step 2||IT creates all the necessary accounts for the employee and gives access|
|Step 3||HR sends a welcome package|
|Step 4||Department manager appoints the supervisor for the employee|
|Step 5||Supervisor creates a list of expectations and responsibilities for the new hire|
|Step 6||Supervisor schedules check-in meetings with the new hire to make sure they’re adjusting well to the company|
Process EnforcementAre your employees doing their work the right way? Do they get the work done before the deadlines 100% of the time, or is it hit or miss? Workflow software notifies your employees whenever they’re behind schedule on their work, making sure that everything is on track.Additionally, the software also lets the management know whenever a process is going slower than usual. This way, you can always have a contingency plan in case of missed deadlines, bottlenecks, etc.
Process ImprovementEvery organization wants to make their processes as efficient as possible. You spend countless hours figuring out how to make the process better, and finally, you find your fix. Implementing the improvement, though, can sometimes be hard.One of the main challenges you’ll face is actually getting everyone to follow-through with the changes. Your employees are used to the old process – they’re not going to just change their habits straight away.You can’t afford to be standing over their shoulder to make sure they do everything right, either. That would just be a waste of time.With workflow software, all you have to do is make the adjustment to the process through the platform. Then, it automatically sends a notification to the employees, letting them know of the changes. And of course, it also starts enforcing the new process, rather than the old, leaving no room for mistakes.
How to Pick the Right Workflow SoftwareWant to adopt workflow software, but not sure which software to pick?Finding the right solution for your business can be pretty tough, considering the number of options on the market.Before you start looking for the right tool, though, you need to decide between Business Process Management Software and Workflow Software. And yes, there IS a difference between the two systems (even though they look just about the same).Here’s a quick comparison table to give you a better idea on which software type works for you…
Workflow Management VS Business Process Management
Workflow Management Software
Business Process Management Software
|Setup Time||Instant registration||Up to 6 Months|
|Features||Process modeling + other basic process management features||Enterprise-wide process management|
|Pricing||Avg. 10 USD / Month / User||6-figure installation fee + yearly subscription|
|User Experience||No-code. Minimal onboarding required||Special training + IT help for configurations|
|Integration||API integration with 3rd party SaaS software||Limited depending on the solution. Requires addon installation|
Simple SetupThe majority of older software requires you to install it on-site. For most organizations, this is neither affordable nor practical.The implementation can take up to 6 months, and the whole package can end up costing you around 6-figures – and all this effort for software you may or may not end up sticking with.Some software providers, however, offer a cloud-based solution. Meaning, you can start using the software without any installation. All you have to do is register.Such companies, in most cases, also charge significantly less since they don’t have to pay highly-skilled engineers to install the software.
No-Code Process BuilderTo get the most out of workflow management software, all of your employees should be able to use it with ease.Most importantly, department supervisors should be able to create processes without the help of the technical staff. While most workflow software is easy to use for the average employee (they just follow-through with their tasks, they’re not the ones having to create the processes), it’s borderline impossible for supervisors.With some software providers, the supervisors can’t create new processes on their own – they need help from specialized back-end engineers. The engineers have to code each new process from scratch, which makes the software significantly more burdensome for management and technical staff.Some of the best workflow management solutions, however, come with a no-code process builder. With workflow tools like Tallyfy, just about every employee can create processes without any prior training.
Drag & Drop Form BuilderForms are a must-have for any workflow management software. Most processes involve input or transfer of data in one way or another – and the best way to do that is through forms.Let’s say, for example, you’re using a workflow system to manage your employee onboarding.The process is as follows…
- The hired employee fills in a form with personal information after being hired
- The data received from the form kickstarts the workflow
- The data from the form is automatically transferred to the company’s HRM software
- The data is also inserted into every onboarding process step that requires any specific information
Integration CapabilitiesTo really get the most out of workflow software, you need to have it integrate with all of your other systems.This allows for a lot more automation capability since some of your process steps will involve working with other types of software.So for example, let’s say you have a workflow for client acquisition and onboarding. The process could be as follows…
- Potential client inputs information in a lead capture on your website, kicking off the workflow
- The data is imported to your CRM and MailChimp (if they also opted in for updates)
- You use the CRM tool to reach out to your customer and the workflow tool to keep track of the sales process
How to Use Workflow Software – 3 Real-Life ExamplesAlready sold on workflow software, but not sure where to start?These are some of the processes that just about every organization has to go through. Just log into your favorite workflow tool and copy / paste the process.
Employee OnboardingMost organizations tend to neglect employee onboarding, regarding it as more of an after-thought.As it turns out, however, onboarding might be the deciding factor on whether the new hire sticks around or not. A well-structured process can increase employee retention by up to 50%.Considering that the cost of replacing an employee can range from 3,000 to 6-figures, this can help your organization cut a lot of expenses and save a lot of time.To make the onboarding process as efficient as it can be, you can use workflow management software to enforce it.Not sure what a well-structured employee onboarding process looks like? Well, here’s an example…
|Step 1||Prepare paperwork (W-4, I-9, etc.)|
|Step 2||Prepare relevant supplies (furniture, computer, etc.)|
|Step 3||Give access to company tools and accounts|
|Step 4||Create a welcome package (freebies and swag)|
|Step 5||Notify supervisor and co-workers about the new hire|
|Step 6||Assign an integration buddy|
|Step 7||Assign a supervisor|
|Step 8||Lunch with teammates|
|Step 9||Set goals and expectations for the month|
|Step 11||Schedule check-in meetings|
Client OnboardingWhenever you’re starting work with a new client, you want to leave a lasting impression.The more professional and structured your onboarding process, the more impressed they’ll be.To make sure everything goes as smooth as possible, you can use workflow software to automate the process…
|Step 1||Collect client information through a registration form|
|Step 2||Approval: is the project relevant for the agency? If approved, move to step #3|
|Step 3||Send service options document|
|Step 4||Create an agenda for the first meeting, come up with questions|
|Step 5||Conduct kickoff meeting|
|Step 6||Create and send the project charter|
Content MarketingContent marketing has been getting more and more popular with businesses worldwide. In fact, over 53% of all businesses are using content marketing to improve their online presence.The whole thing, though, can be a bit hectic. Trust us, we know – We’ve been creating a lot of content at Tallyfy for the past year.The process involves the cooperation between 4-5 different parties, including the writer, editor, designer, marketer, and sometimes developer.To really get the most out of content marketing, you can create a workflow to coordinate the publishing and outreach process.Not sure how to do that? Steal our own process!
|Step 1||Writer submits article idea / outline|
|Step 2||If the editor approves, the writer starts working on the piece|
|Step 3||Marketer creates a list of influencers to reach out to (and get some traction for the article|
|Step 4||Editor proofreads the article and makes changes|
|Step 5||Designer creates any graphic material that’s needed for the article|
|Step 6||Editor optimizes the article for Google and publishes it on WordPress|
|Step 7||Marketing team carries out the outreach using the list we’ve mentioned in step #3|