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Workflow management software tracks real-time progress throughout a project lifecycle, assigns tasks to specific employees, and clearly describes project requirements within the system. Automated task assignments will help reduce the time spent keying in data and improve how quickly you manage your workflow.
Workflow management software helps you determine where improvements can be made to cut down on labor costs and get projects done faster. When employees log the time spent on a particular task, you get a closer look at each step of the process to see which tasks are taking too long that might be holding up your projects. With this information, you can make changes to improve efficiency.
|Workflow Designer||Create a graphical representation of the steps and requirements of the process that is easy for users to follow.|
|Task Management||Assign specific tasks, requirements, and deadlines to different users.|
|Time Tracking||Record how long individuals spent working on a task towards a specific project.|
|Automated Notifications||Automatically send text messages or emails to users updating team members the status of specific tasks - i.e. when a task is assigned or completed.|
|Role-based User Permissions||Set user roles and permissions to give specific employees access to modify particular tasks or workflow phases.|
|Custom Form Designer||Build custom web forms for employee onboarding, employee PTO requests, and purchase order requests.|
|Reporting||Monitor KPIs to see which steps in the process are running smoothly and which steps need to be improved.|
See where processes or projects get backed up - If workflows are interrupted and projects are behind schedule frequently, workflow management software can help you see where the hold-ups are. Work might be getting bottlenecked by one employee with too much on their plate. By having visibility into the workflow, you can take corrective action to ensure projects run smoothly.
Reduce administrative errors - Workflow management software can automate data entry processes, greatly reducing errors from manually inputting data. Steps in the process are also less likely to be skipped or missed. Workflow management software will notify the next person in the process when they should begin their task after the previous task is completed.
Improve internal communication - Workflow software lets your employees clearly see completed tasks and tasks that need to be completed in the future. Employees don’t need to hunt down the information they need about where in the process the project is, and can automatically notify coworkers when a task is completed.
Easy form building - Many workflow management tools have a “what you see is what you get” form builder within the system. Some of the systems have drag-and-drop functionality, so you can easily design the form the way you want with custom text and number fields, maps, dropdowns, etc.
Individuals, small companies with limited budgets, and organizations just looking to test out a particular workflow management solution for a month or two can use free versions of the software.
Examples of free workflow management software include:
Asana - The Basic plan from Asana is a free solution for individuals or start-up teams of up to 15 people looking for simple project management functionalities. You’ll be able to view tasks and schedules, as well as assign people and due dates to tasks. Asana’s paid plans begin with the Premium plan that starts at $9.99 per user per month (billed annually) with more robust functionalities including reporting, task dependencies, and milestones.
Zapier - A free plan is available from Zapier for individuals. The free plan lets you have up to 5 integrations between apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Slack, Mailchimp, and WordPress. Only the paid plans give you access to Premium Apps like Salesforce, Zoho CRM, PayPal, and MySQL. The Starter plan is for individuals and professionals and starts at $20 per month per user - it lets you have up to 20 integrations between apps. Zapier for Teams starts at $250 per month and lets you have unlimited members.
Projects running over budget or past deadlines - Workflow software can help you see where in the process projects are being held up and where cost inefficiencies are happening. You will be able to make any necessary changes to improve delivery times and improve your ROI.
Important steps in the process being missed or skipped - A workflow management system makes sure every step in the process is completed before moving onto the next one. When one step is completed, the employees assigned to the next step will be notified to begin. A task won’t be able to be marked as completed if the task before it is not done.
Miscommunication - Detailed instructions can be included in every task to avoid miscommunication as tasks are completed and moved on to other employees or departments.
AI can automate many time-consuming back-end processes, and as the technology grows, will be able to act on behalf of employees. AI could screen applicants, approve a customer’s refund request, and automate data entry.
In a survey conducted by PwC, 20% of business executives stated that their companies plan to implement AI throughout the entire organization in 2019. Additionally, 27% already have AI implemented in multiple areas in their organization, and 15% plan to deploy AI in multiple areas in their organization.