Workflows can be easily explained as a sequence of tasks where you gather pivotal information before executing the plan to accomplish a specific task successfully. More simplified workflows are a series of steps that need to be done by yourself or your employees to realize your company’s particular project on the schedule.
You can present it as a pattern, diagram, or logical steps of the process we need to fulfill before the final works.
To be more precise, we are going to use an example. Imagine a newspaper company. The steps are as follows: journalist gets a topic to write about, makes research about it, and writes a probationary sample.
Later, the journalist sends it to the lector or editor, who corrects any mistakes, corrects any grammar errors, discards what is unnecessary, and sends it to the CEO.
He then approves if the article is good enough to be published. The article will find its place on tomorrow’s headline if it is. That is an automation workflow, simplified and illustrated.
The more complex the company’s operation field, the more difficult workflows are. It is a strictly monitored, directed, and managed process to bring out the maximum of everyone involved in the specific job or project.
Workflows save us time and money, primarily if the company’s operational field is based on a pre-existing pattern. As a result, workflows are more of a habit, and their execution is a matter of routine.
The tasks in a workflow have to be mutually connected to be the workflow; every other mission that is dissimilar is just task management, not a workflow. You should keep that in mind.
When we introduce you to the term workflow, we can explain the vital steps to start implementing it from scratch. Each step in the workflow pattern represents a single part of the process.
Identifying the Starting Point and the Outcome
Every workflow must have a starting point and a result. Defining a starting point occurs immediately after determining that the process will be successful and profitable. You will carry out the workflow if it serves a purpose.
The outcome is basically the predicted result of a workflow. This can be explained by this example – if you have a store that sells furniture. When an order arrives, the workflow begins by selling the ordered item and issuing a receipt to the customer.
Role assignments to every employee are the next step in creating your workflow. This can apply to the employed persons, machines, or tools that we use in the specific job the workflow is referring to.
Everyone needs to have a duty in the pattern, and every person should complete what is wanted from them by creating the workflow.
Listing the Tasks That Need to Be Done
Once you have determined the starting point and outcome, and once you have finished assigning the roles, you can list the tasks that need to be done in the process. Tasks are the activities that have to be fulfilled to make our workflow fluid and, finally, to make our job successfully finalized.
Visualizing the Workflow
After finishing the steps mentioned above, it is time for visualizing the workflow. You can do it manually on paper, whiteboard, or whatever you can write and draw on. Or you can do it using some of the tools and software online to make and visualize your workflows using a drag-and-drop system.
You can create a visual representation of an imagined workflow using the symbols. Symbols are images that have meaning. The oval symbol, for example, represents the beginning and end of the workflow. We can use arrows as connectors between the symbols, and their purpose is to make a relationship between the symbols.
Parallelogram means input and output – it represents information entering or leaving the system. The rectangle symbol represents a single step in a workflow process (sanding the wood board, e.g.). More symbols are available online or in some online workflow generators.
After every part of the specific job has been done and the made product has been transported to another person/tool, it must be reviewed and checked for potential mistakes. Every next step will be a flop if you don’t notice the possible mistake. That’s why the review is a fundamental part of one workflow.
Workflow is similar to a living system in that it can be good, but it can also be better. That’s why you need to analyze every step to see if there is any possibility of having a more improved existing workflow, maybe finding a way to establish a more profitable workflow that will also improve the efficiency of a job, and so on.
Once you’ve completed the necessary steps, you can finally put your unique workflow to the test to see if it’s everything you hoped for or if there’s still room for improvement.
You finished with the tests, and everything is just in order – you can finally launch it! After you launch it, it is recommended to track how everything is going in the initial stage of the workflow application. That way, you will see some minor mistakes that you can resolve immediately at no cost.
Once you decide to make workflow, you will indeed find some difficulties. However, when you finish it and start using the system created by yourself and your team, you will see how it was worth it and how it helped optimize your business.
Workflows are just a small part of the process making your business stable and fluid.
We mentioned above some of the steps in creating a workflow. You should explore more online if you are interested in this kind of automatization and give it a go. Trust us – it’s worth it!