5 Practical Steps for Workflow Process Integration

Workflow integration is a modern method of business process management. This productivity-oriented discipline originated in mechanical engineering and manufacturing and is now used in many industries. Any organization can benefit from taking the time to assess business process workflow, and software such as Fluix is helpful for facilitating integration. Here are five actionable steps to identify processes, implement technical solutions and make ongoing assessments based on key performance indicators to reach optimal efficiency.

Integrating a Business Workflow

A workflow consists of a series of processes composed of activities and tasks. These processes may be conditional, sequential or parallel, but are all oriented toward achieving outcomes that align with set objectives. Business process management is a term used to describe the oversight of stakeholders moving through the stages of a workflow to achieve intended results on schedule.

Several measures are involved in the integration of a bpm workflow. It is necessary to understand each part of every process in a workflow as well as the order in which processes occur. Each process can be broken down into actions, tasks and subprocesses. Methods for optimizing efficiency, such as automation, can be implemented on any level. Saving labor and time enables stakeholders to prioritize value-added aspects of any workflow, maximizing productivity and ensuring that outcomes lead toward defined objectives.

1. Identify Workflow Processes

Taking an effective approach to workflow process integration calls for clear articulation of every aspect of a workflow. The following methods allow for more accurate and complete workflow process documentation:

  • Breaking Down Processes: Each process consists of subprocesses, tasks and actions.
  • Performing Process Analysis: Stakeholders who perform processes contribute details.
  • Identifying Optimization Methods: Stakeholders identify ways to increase efficiency.
  • Managing Business Workflow: Pursue changes by using all available resources.

An organization pursuing workflow process integration should account for these elements in a format that is easy to read, reference and modify. A graphical presentation based on a workflow process template is a tried-and-true method for communicating this information.

Classic flow process charts account for all of the actions and tasks that come together to form processes and workflows. Each aspect of this representation should acknowledge areas such as stakeholder participation, resource use and the objectives and scope of process elements.

While it is possible to assess workflows and take preliminary steps toward integration based on a diagram, Fluix workflow management software provides powerful process integration tools.

2. Implement Workflow Process Software

Choosing the best software to manage business processes is essential. Fluix can be customized to fit the workflow of any organization. Support for collaboration, distribution, signature collection and approval eliminates many potential productivity bottlenecks.

The operational management requirements of a business will determine whether workflows extend from an office out into the field. An enterprise-grade platform can grant stakeholders access to pertinent information and materials at any place and time. It is also important to comply with security standards for the types of data a business handles in a workflow.

It can take some time to fully implement workflow management software. Every process identified in the first step toward integration must be accounted for in the system. Actions, tasks and subprocesses must be entered into the system and connected to modes of communication for sending documents or requesting signatures. During the set-up process, an enterprise may continue to identify ways to eliminate redundant or unnecessary measures, particularly practices that have been held over from paper-based workflows.

Activities or tasks such as making copies or delivering physical versions of materials to stakeholders may be cut out entirely, which often saves a substantial amount of time and effort. Support for automation is another way in which workflow software can contribute toward integrating processes.

3. Select Tasks for Automation

Fluix is an accessible and affordable automation solution. Stakeholders can automate actions, tasks or subprocesses that were formerly performed manually. Automation has several benefits, including reducing the expenditure of labor on tasks that are prone to suffer from human error. A heightened level of accuracy and time saved for stakeholders contributes toward the achievement of higher levels of productivity.

An approach to process integration that involves automation must account for the fine details found in workflows. For instance, some actions only take place on a conditional basis, whereas other tasks may be performed in parallel or sequence. While these conditions should be accounted for in workflow documentation, it is also necessary to enter these terms into workflow management software during the automation process.

Organizations without dedicated information technology departments or with limited IT resources can appreciate intuitive design and code-free customization capabilities. While setting up scripts to ensure that every part of a process takes place at the right point in a workflow and that all conditions are satisfied before proceeding may take some time during rollout, these measures should save a great deal of time after implementation.

Automating routine tasks also enables stakeholders to sustain focus on higher-level concerns, such as ensuring that the outcomes of a workflow align with the long-term objectives of an organization. In the long run, this redirected focus can be directed toward a comprehensive approach to increasing efficiency. A combination of alerts and reports minimize manual effort and add a helpful layer of control over documentation that enables stakeholders to focus on working smarter.

4. Analyze Business Process Efficiency

Making changes to the workflow management process can have intended and unintended results. Rather than approaching workflow process integration as a one-time process with a set endpoint, organizations are more likely to achieve higher levels of efficiency by continuing to fine-tune workflow software settings.

Certain processes can present more challenges than others during workflow integration. An organization transitioning from paper-based models, which are still in place at over half of the field service companies currently in operation, may face more challenges than an organization that has already gone paperless. The former must completely reconfigure processes, while the latter is simply centralizing document distribution, form filling, signature collection and approval processes.

Closely monitoring key performance indicators is essential for ensuring that workflows reach the highest levels of efficiency. Fluix is ready to be integrated with the leading business intelligence platforms such as Tableau and Power BI. These platforms make it possible to monitor efficiency across an entire workflow and ensure that every aspect aligns with the overarching goals of an organization.

Insights from analytics must be rendered actionable in order to be effective. Stakeholders might initially notate existing steps in a workflow and then look for ways to make processes flow more efficiently based on these observations. Making adjustments could call for a secondary implementation phase, and it may be necessary to adjust automated and manual approval measures through processes that involve some measure of trial and error. The willingness of the stakeholders of an enterprise to adopt new systems and attempt new methods is rewarded with the capability to reach optimal levels of productivity.

5. Optimize Workflow Processes

Workflow optimization is an ongoing effort. Modifying the ways in which processes are conducted in the office or field will involve making adjustments to software settings that control automated or manual procedures. At the same time, the availability of robust technology for tracking progress can help stakeholders identify efficiency measures that were not immediately obvious in the initial stages of mapping out a workflow.

One of the best features of Fluix is its flexibility. No matter what the initial needs of an organization are during the implementation period, this platform can be fine-tuned to deliver the automation or routing solutions necessary to keep operations on track. An intuitive, code-free interface makes it easier to gain a big picture perspective on workflows and zero in on specific actions, tasks and subprocesses that can be made more efficient.

Small changes can lead to big results, particularly when it comes to speeding up approval processes and steering clear of common productivity bottlenecks. Moreover, investing in the software and hardware needed to go paperless can end up saving significant business expenditures on materials and travel costs.

The primary purpose of workflow process software is to make it easier for businesses to integrate and execute every process in a workflow. It can be useful to look at workflow process template examples to see how processes can be organized before and after implementing a workflow platform. Find out more about how Fluix can support every stage of integration and request a free trial to start optimizing workflows.