What is Workflow? Definition & Implementation

5 Min Read
What is Workflow? Definition & Implementation

What is workflow? Simply, a “workflow” is how you get work done in repeatable steps to finish a task. 

Processes characterise every business. For employees to attain specific objectives, they must go through various business processes. The exact number varies from one operation to the next. It is because of these established standard operating procedures that a company is able to maintain a certain level of consistency.

However, a systematic approach to these series of activities is necessary, which is where workflow comes in. As a business owner, you might have come across term more than once. What does it mean, though? A clear comprehension of workflow in a business capacity is necessary.

What is Workflow?

So, what is workflow? Well, it refers to the flow of tasks. When you have to complete a series of activities to accomplish certain goals, and that is workflow. Repeatability is the defining factor of this concept. When you only do one unique thing to reach an objective, it doesn’t qualify. 

Workflow has to include a chain of tasks that need to occur sequentially to be successful. Think of a professional baker. Which stages do you think a pastry chef has to go through before coming up with that signature carrot cake. The process might begin with talking to the right suppliers, receiving or going to get the ingredients, getting the correct utensils and preparing the ingredients and baking the cake. That sequence of activities is what workflow is all about.

The concept describes that gets an objective from being undone to done. It means that there are predefined rules to follow. Before you even begin an activity, you know which path to take to get to get to the end result. What workflow isn’t is a series of unrelated tasks. It’s also not a  “project” where a bunch of tasks are put together or a “task” one-off to-do list. If one task falls short in a workflow, it affects the entire dynamic. Workflow is present across different industries and departments. It can be manual or automated.

The Importance of Workflow

Workflow isn’t just a buzzword. Businesses have several reasons to invest in the concept. History of workflow has been proven in many industries and over a long period.

However, implementing a workflow is tedious and can affect a business negatively if the goals are not clear. Why should it matter? Having a predetermined approach (best practices) to particular tasks reduces errors. Workflow scan ensures important processes are done the right way every time. Whether you use workflow automation or not, it improves the chances of doing things correctly. Employees know which tasks to complete and when.

With fewer errors comes great quality. Workflows also make it easy to identify skill sets. When you know who excels in what field, then you can allocate tasks accordingly. Improved quality in your offerings means better revenues and customer retention.

Workflows can help a business improve customer experience. Satisfied customers are invaluable, and every company aspires to that. The more enhanced your systems are, the better the customer care will be. Workflows also make tasks easy for employees. Increased Workflow Productivity and happy workers translate to satisfied clients.

Why and How to Document Workflow for Business

Business owners should not just know how to answer – what is workflow; they should learn the best practices of developing one. A workflow requires documentation. Mapping out the workflow for your company comes in handy in several areas. 

When onboarding, new employees need to learn how the enterprise does things. Workflow documents simplify everything for new staff members. Managers and supervisors save time when they don’t have to keep monitoring recruits. Documentation ensures that each worker knows the sequence of tasks. Without putting a workflow on record, the probability of variations during implementation is high.

Companies today have the benefit of workflow applications that make documentation uncomplicated. The software allows the mapping, monitoring and automation of workflows. It saves resources. The tool facilitates communication between employees and assigns tasks. Bottlenecks are also easily identifiable.

Many businesses don’t give workflow the attention it demands. Creating and optimising workflows should be a priority for companies to help them capitalise on the advantages offered.

Workflows ensure important processes are done the right way every time by the right person, in correct order, and within a set time frame. 

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