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Designing a workflow? Stay on track

Last Updated 2022/04/12

Drawing up a workflow to map out and organise your business processes may seem straightforward, but underestimating the level of accuracy and detail required could cause major problems after implementation.

Carefully consider the following factors if you want to see positive productivity results and avoid headaches further down the line. It’s important to remember that rather than just mapping out business processes, you have the potential to improve them for better business results.

To automate or not?

Divide the steps that make up your workflow into two categories; tasks carried out by employees, and those which are automated using the software itself. It’s important to note that these are not always mutually exclusive. For example; you might want to allow a staff member to override an automated work process if there is a specific person suited for a job.

Making a clear distinction on what can and can’t be automated is important, your decision needs to be based on a realistic understanding of what your system is capable of, and also what tasks are better suited to human judgement.

The order of events

Carrying out a task in a specific order every single time isn’t always optimal. A sequence of events may have to change based on certain conditions. If one person or resource is not available at a designated stage, do you put the entire task on hold, or move forward until that issue can be resolved later?

Some steps in a workflow may not even be mandatory and can be skipped over depending on work circumstances. But be aware that this has the potential to create greater complexity further down the line if a later stage compensates for what was missed.

The entire process

One trap workflow designers fall into is omitting a stage in a process because it either happens before the task has begun or after it has finished. You might think work needs to start at a certain point, but is there anything before your “first” stage that has an impact? For instance, you a workflow might begin when an employee arrives at an address for an appointment, but how was that appointment arranged in the first place?

This problem often arises because the administrative and trade components of an organisation are treated as doing separate jobs, but in fact, are all working towards the same goal in different capacities.

SwiftCase is a powerful, cloud-based business process management platform, get in touch with us today, for a free, no-obligation demonstration.

Adam Sykes