Workflow Analysis Fixes the Holes in Your Business Processes


What is Workflow Analysis?

Workflow Analysis is the process of breaking down the performance of a workflow and examining trends for improvement. By looking at a workflow at a granular task level, business users can tweak processes for optimal efficiency and workplace productivity. Workflow analysis often reveals redundant tasks, bottlenecks, and opportunities for more automation.

If you are responsible for organizational efficiency, you’ve probably spent time thinking about workflow management, BPM, and automating redundant processes (Business Process Automation). Many people simply jump on the workflow automation bandwagon because of the fear of missing out–they don’t want to lose out on all the vague ‘benefits and advantages’.

But sometimes, these efforts just don’t seem to work like they are supposed to. The reason? They didn’t do workflow analysis.

There’s no point setting up an automated workflow unless you know the benefits you expect to receive, and how your workflows can be improved. However, if you have hard data and feedback from stakeholders, you can use workflow analysis to find several easy ways to improve on what you already have.

Why Do You Need Workflow Analysis?

Your market and environment are constantly evolving. If your workflows aren’t able to keep pace with internal and external advancements, you risk becoming unable to fit the constantly changing needs of your customers and employees.

Also, your employees spend most of their day performing business-critical tasks such as onboarding new talents, process purchase requisitions and orders, handling vacation and reimbursement requests etc.

Workflow analysis makes sure the benefits you wanted when you signed up for workflow automation actually occur. It allows you to track and measure your workflows, decode pain points and operational bottlenecks. The level of accuracy provided by workflow analysis helps you to run each workflow with optimal efficiency.  This includes efficiency and productivity in business processes, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, and employee engagement.

Did you know that 40% of productivity is lost to task-switching?

Benefits of Workflow Analysis:

  1. Enhanced productivity

  2. Better employee engagement

  3. Competitive advantage

4 simple steps to do your own workflow analysis

Here are a few steps to help you do your own workflow analysis.

Step 1: Collect Hard Data

Take a report of the workflow you want to examine. Analyze the statistics and see which ones are performing as required and which ones aren’t.

What kind of data do you need? Start with this list:

  • Number of items in that workflow initiated over a period

  • Number of items completed

  • Number of items rejected

  • Average, min, and max time is taken to complete each task

  • Number of times a task is sent back or rejected

  • Number of times an item requires extra clarification

Look for comprehensive workflow analysis tools that can give you all of this information, facilitating you to take actionable insights before the issue gets out of hand.

Step 2: Collect Soft Data

For workflow analysis, just numbers aren’t enough. Interact with people who use the workflow tools most frequently. Start with those who fill out the form. Your sales team is responsible for 80% of the expense report submissions. Understand the following:

  • Are they pleased with the ease of the form?

  • Do they have any complaints about submitting their requests?

  • Are their reimbursements getting approved on time?

In a few cases, your Sales VP may not have all the data they need to approve the request. Sending emails to the sales reps to get more details may usually take time to get a response.

Since workflow analysis tools usually only focus on the hard data, this approach gives you a chance to take your analysis to the next level.

94% of business professionals say they would rather use workflow automations than rely on several systems

Step 3: Ask the Hard Questions

Some workflows are created to minimize errors. Others are meant to speed up the process. When you keep the big picture in mind as you are doing workflow analysis, you can ask questions like:

  • Is this step really needed?

  • What is its purpose? 

  • Who is it supposed to serve? 

  • Can it be converted from approval to a notification?

  • Does everyone have enough data to perform their task?

  • How can we bring in more automation?

Using a combination of workflow analysis tools and in-person conversations, you can come up with the right solution.

Step 4: Implement the Changes and Follow Up

Once you’ve identified all the changes that came from your workflow analysis, implement them in your system. Notify all stakeholders of any change, and let them know if there will be any downtime, or how to handle items in the middle of a changed workflow.

Workflow analysis isn’t just a good way of identifying if there are any changes that need to be done with a workflow. You can also prepare useful reports and see which workflows and which aspects of a particular workflow are helping your organization grow. It’s important to analyze and improve your workflows continuously.

Great workflow analysis templates or tools ensure that you can get all the data that you need to perform the analysis effortlessly, thereby saving you time, effort, and money.

A good tool helps you identify which processes are running smoothly and which need work. Using that information, you can move ahead and find out where to make changes and where not to so you reduce costs.

That’s exactly what Kissflow Workflow is designed to do: help you analyze your workflows so that you can create a truly efficient and productive business process, tailored to your particular needs. You can use Kissflow to find out where your processes need work, and where they’re running smoothly.

Kissflow Workflow transforms the way you get work done