Currently, workflow is one of the most popular methods of managing the flow of tasks and documents, as well as teams engaged in the implementation of processes in business. It is nothing more that the flow of work, information and documents between various professional individuals working in the same organisation. However, innovative workflow software can concern not only people, but also integrate a series of other systems and enable the flow of data and tasks between them. Organisations are aware that the digital transformation conditions the development of business and remaining competitive in the market, and they more and more confidently introduce workflow and automation elements to their business process management.
The concept of workflow in theory and in practice
Workflow is a concept that can refer to virtually any area of the organisation’s activity and implemented processes – from support to core. It is a manner of managing a team of employees and their tasks, where flows, roles of persons engaged in the process and the order of particular activities that should be performed have been defined (and in solutions including the functionality of business process automation – also automated). Furthermore, an important aspect of workflow consists in the flow of information exchanged between individuals participating in processing thereof, which is related to the management and provision of access to relevant and up-to-date data and documents used by the employees in the implementation of a given process.
The contemporary workflow is more and more often identified with business process automation during which documents, tasks or information are automatically forwarded among employees on the grounds of specific procedures. Therefore, workflow can also mean specialist workflow management software, the basic task of which consists in improving the work of the team. Process, that is, specific tasks that should be performed, is the basic term in workflow. Whereas, within the process an activity occurs which comprises parts of tasks assigned to particular employees.
Modern software for workflow and information management
Workflow in companies and organisations can be managed, digitalised and automated via specialist software which takes care of each aspect of the workflow. The software for managing the workflow allows automating certain processes occurring in the company. Employees can be unburdened from simple and routine activities and serviced by relevant mechanisms (e.g. those with the use of OCR or AI elements). Thus, people can focus on performing activities requiring thinking, criticism and creativity, whereas, machines perform repetitive tasks not requiring independent thinking. Entrusting such activities to software also eliminates the risk of human error, which often occurs while performing a lot of the same and monotonous tasks.
Workflow management software allows to better assign tasks taking into consideration, among others, qualifications of particular employees, their workload and the right to access particular data. It allows better and more efficient management and control of the workflow in the company. Moreover, workflow management software allows coordinating the work of particular departments, including those located in other towns/cities and even countries. Furthermore, workflow software allows faster and more effective solution of problems, since it provides an ongoing insight in the course of the process and allows immediate reaction in case of stating irregularities. It also provides invaluable support in coordination of whole processes, enforcement of the implementation of procedures and best practices; not only within the workstations, but in broader terms, within cooperation of many employees, departments or branches of the company.