August 24th, 2015 • workflow
Workflow systems are built for efficiency. When a business workflow is running smoothly, everyone is happier. When it gets hung up on small errors, outdated documents and complex organizational charts, it creates more problems than it solves.
The sign of a great business process workflow is a complete lack of friction – efficiency will practically ooze out of you as you look for more and more things to automate. However, the sign of a bad workflow is that you spend all of your time messing with it and thinking about how to fix it.
As you create efficient workflows, keep these benefits in mind. If the software you are using doesn’t deliver these benefits, then you are stuck with a workflow system that is going to take more time than it is worth.
A lot of technology allows you to be ‘hands-off’ or ‘hands-free’, but every business owner knows that is only half the battle. You might create a great business process, but you will continue to mentally obsess over it until you know that everyone is following it perfectly. You needlessly check your emails and get cc’d on emails you don’t need to see.
A fully automated workflow allows you to be as much ‘mind-off’ as you are hands-off. Do the roles you are best at and let the automation take the worry out of your life.
When you finally sit down to create a workflow on paper, it is exciting to think about simplifying the process. You may call all the important team members and give them quick training on how they should follow the new process.
However, as you start to run the process, you will inevitably find small or big ways the process can be improved. If you are using a paper, email, or document-based workflow, you now have to create new documents, relentlessly seek and destroy all the old versions, and update everyone on how the new process works.
If you use an automated workflow, you can make small or big changes on the fly, and you can choose whether or not to update everyone. An agile platform like Kissflow makes it easy for even non-technical people to edit a workflow, as opposed to more complex and expensive systems that can take a long time to change.
Efficiency can be handcrafted when you only have a staff of ten, but what happens when you expand to 100 or more? Many of the same systems and processes you created early on may not be able to handle such rapid scaling.
However, an automated business process means that the work is done the same way, as many times as you want. There is no end to the level of scaling automation can bring you. Kissflow is priced so that you only pay for the users who are a part of the workflow, not the amount of work you are doing.
Much of the email we receive on a day-to-day basis is useless either on arrival or by the end of the day. Imagine removing approval requests from your inbox and handling them on your mobile while you are on the go. That translates into less time tethered to a machine, and more time spent on more productive things than archiving emails you didn’t need to see in the first place.
There are two kinds of business workflows in the world – those that you work on, and those that work for you. Make sure you are using the latter.