A workflow is a series of steps through which an organization gets its work done, from the beginning to completion. The workflow could be simple and mapped on a piece of paper, or digitalized. The digital workflow has proven to be more efficient than the manual version due to the automation of every process.
The digital workflow system has gained popularity across different companies. These organizations usually chose to hire developers to create the system, purchase the software, or create one themselves. Whatever the mode of workflow a company chooses to use, there are some essential features needed. These features will help to improve the efficiency of the workflow, and in turn, increase team productivity.
Important Features Of A Digital Workflow System
When designing a workflow system or purchasing a digital workflow software, there are some important features to have. This set of features is more of a must-have for your design, as missing it could cause performance issues in your system.
Here are some of the crucial elements that your system should have:
1. Simple Form Designer
A proper workflow system should allow you to create forms in the simplest of ways. It should offer uncomplicated methods such as the drag-and-drop design where you can add different fields like texts, numbers, and drop-down menus.
The form designer should also allow you to link to different databases and add new records, without affecting the current data. While the functioning of the form designer may appear too complex, it should be simple in that you won’t require an expert to take you through it. Other employees should have an easy time navigating through the forms.
2. Cloud-Based Technology
Cloud-based services is one of the major trends happening in the software industry. It looks to be currently shaping the future of service provisions. As a result, adopting a cloud-based workflow system or using the technology in your workflow offers several benefits.
First, you and your employees can access data from the workflow and other connected databases from any location. This is majorly significant if your organization has remote workers. Secondly, instead of a one-time purchase, acquiring a cloud-based workflow allows you to take advantage of regular updates and maintenance by the provider instead of doing it yourself.
Finally, cloud-based tools increase your data’s safety and privacy as the access is restricted only to the people who are permitted. In addition, you can backup and retrieve data without extra costs. It’s therefore essential that you use cloud-based tools for your workflow system to improve performance.
3. Flawless Integration With Other Apps
Integration between workflows and other apps and systems such as emails, databases, and employee records are essential. With the proper integration, communication between these systems will be easy, and information can be received or sent quickly across the organization.
When designing a workflow system, it should be tested for these metrics. Once the system is proved to communicate well with other apps, then the design can be used. A workflow that doesn’t have seamless integration with other systems may lead to miscommunication, loss of data, and poor employee productivity.
4. Performance-Based Reports
A workflow system is used to guide the process undertaken by the employees of an organization. However, a proper system should measure and give a report based on the key performance indicators set by the company.
By using workflow analysis, you can identify delays in making orders and average approval time, and compare the performance between different departments. By using a workflow analysis tool, you can reassign employees to more productive areas. You can also channel resources to areas where there’s a high rate of return.
5. Custom Notifications And Reminders
Digital workflows are used to guide the processes used by employees. Therefore, it’s required that the system always sends reminders and notifications to employees to complete a task. Primarily, the system uses emails or push notifications to send these customized alerts.
However, most emails can be assumed or passed as spam, and essential parts of the process, like approvals will be missed. Therefore, your workflow system should allow users to customize these notifications through subject lines. They can also add custom reminders to remind them of due dates or specific tasks that needs completion.
6. Proper Security System
The issue of security is no longer just an option for any organization. Nowadays, user data and other company records are stored in the information system of the organization. Your workflow system is part of the information system. And data, such as inventory orders and employee requests, can be found there. Therefore, you need to incorporate a secure system for your data.
So, if you’re using a cloud-based service for your workflow, you need to be sure that you can trust the provider with such critical information. The vendor should have a privacy and security policy, and any data should be encrypted so that only the allowed parties can view them. Due to the increased cases of cyber-attacks on organizations, your system should be security-compliant.
7. Audit Trails
For a business to run successfully, there needs to be accountability for every action taken in the organization. Records of who did a task and when it was done are generated and kept for future references. A proper workflow system needs to help you keep these records. You can go back to them whenever you need to. For example, in a financial firm, an audit trail can follow up a discrepancy in the account books and identify where it originated from.
The audit trail can also help you to identify the status of the process. By checking on your workflow, you’ll be able to see how every project is fairing and how employees are meeting deadlines. Your workflow should help you monitor the process as they happen without much hassle.
When designing your workflow system or purchasing directly from a software development firm, you need it to be as efficient as possible. Therefore, some key features are must-haves. These attributes in your system will ensure that every step is undertaken as required, and you can monitor it whenever you need to.
In addition, with many platforms being digitized and workflows adopting these technological changes, information security is vital. Therefore, ensure you have all the appropriate features to help protect your organization. A well-designed workflow is essential to the growth of your company.