Document Based Workflow
Most organizations depend on documents during daily operations and for keeping records. If document development, sharing, approval and processing are part of the regular operational procedures of an enterprise, document workflow software can streamline these measures. The immediate effects of ready availability and controlled access can pave the way toward the cumulative benefits of increased productivity and security. Learn more about how to implement document management strategies and the benefits of workflow software in this initiative.
Implementing Workflow Document Management
An organization seeking to implement documentation workflow management methods to reduce inefficiency should first map out how documents move through workflows. A fundamental sense of the patterns and procedures that information follows among the stakeholders of an organization is essential for articulating and achieving higher information management standards.
Whether your goal is automation or controlling access to sensitive data, it is important that workflows be definable and repeatable. These priorities are necessary to manage and optimize steps for consistency and efficiency. A clearer comprehension of the component parts of workflows is also essential for accountability.
Document Based Workflow Best Practices
Enterprises with document-driven workflows should determine best practices for handling data. A clear document workflow definition and breakdown of procedural steps can be helpful for any organization.
Workflows include each and every operational procedure and account for all actions and subprocesses. The creation, revision and approval of documents may occur at any stage. These are the general stages of document usage in a workflow:
- Document Creation: A designated agent creates a document as part of a workflow.
- Document Routing: The document is routed to the authorized agents.
- Document Review: These agents look over and revise a document as needed.
- Document Approval: A document is approved by an authorized agent.
- Document Storage: A document is logged for future recall in audits or records.
- Document Removal: Records that are no longer needed should be securely purged.
The specific steps in a < a href="/solutions-collaboration">document approval workflow may vary based on the type of records and the workflow of an organization. Depending on the level of sensitivity of data, it may be necessary to encrypt documents or files during transfer or at rest. In some cases, documents should be stored in perpetuity. In others, approved methods for deletion may be a defined procedure for document management with workflow.
Options for Optimizing Document Workflow
Stakeholders should strive to optimize every stage of the document workflow process. Start by reducing errors that enter into data during collection. This is particularly the case for derivation methods that rely on manual entry. It may also be helpful to automate the receipt of signals recorded by measuring or tracking devices in the field. Starting off any document workflow with the most accurate data is essential for obtaining high-quality results.
Once data has been included in documents, it is important that these files are directed toward stakeholders who have the authority to review, revise or approve these materials. The routing, review and approval stages stand to benefit most from the use of document workflow software. Platforms such as Fluix can circumvent steps that have the potential to delay actions at critical points in a workflow.
By permitting authorized agents to review and change elements while ensuring active forms reach their intended destination, this software stands to greatly optimize the middle stages of a workflow. Documents are less likely to bounce back and forth between stakeholders or run the risk of getting lost in the shuffle. An organization can also benefit from collaborative features that make it possible to share and edit a single version of a document in real time.
Going paperless is the best option for most organizations. From document creation through review and approval onward, accessing, editing and storing digital files is easier and more efficient. Paper documents are more likely to require manual entry at some point in a workflow, which runs a high risk of introducing errors that can undermine productivity.
Maintaining a central, digital hub for document storage, particularly a cloud-based resource available to stakeholders in the field and offices, is often the best option for optimal operation. It is essential that this hub have the security features needed to control access and allow for secure storage in compliance with relevant regulations.
Approaches To Automating Document Workflow
Making a document management system workflow diagram is the first step toward increasing the efficiency with which materials are created, edited, shared, reviewed and approved. These general steps are guidelines that may prove useful for gaining a clearer sense of the workflows in a particular enterprise.
Any breakdown of document-specific or broader operational workflows must account for every task down to the level of actions and subprocesses while also factoring in the individual agents responsible for document generation, review and approval. These workflow maps are industry-specific and vary between operations. Once a map is in place, using the right software can facilitate efficient automation.
An all-in-one solution such as Fluix is useful for generating documentation through form filling and collaboration, while also supporting e-signing and approval measures. From the digitization of data to the provision of documents to stakeholders in a workflow, this solution provides everything an enterprise needs to manage any aspect of document workflows.
Benefits of Managing Document Workflow
Workflow and document management can reduce inefficiencies across operational processes. One of the major benefits of being aware of every stage and subprocess in a workflow is the ability to automate more aspects of operations. Automation is time- and labor-saving and can greatly reduce errors that enter through manual data entry or during the processes of document creation or revision.
Reducing redundancies and points at which documents could become siloed and hold up workflows is beneficial for any organization. Improving the standards by which documents are created, shared, collaborated on and stored can also be helpful for auditing and regulatory compliance purposes.
Using software to manage and automate more aspects of a workflow has the potential to provide alerts and status indicators that keep operations on schedule. The extensive reporting functionality of a platform such as Fluix is also helpful for the purpose of big-picture analytics. Points of inefficiency or where errors enter in can be resolved through a code-free, intuitive platform that readily integrates with other systems in use at an organization.
Assess and Improve Document Workflow
While it may be helpful to identify all of the stages in a document workflow prior to implementing management software, this information only becomes actionable when a powerful platform is available for managing every aspect of operations. Identifying each step involved in the creation, distribution, review and approval of documents makes it possible to maximize the utility of features such as role-based access control and the capacity to add parallel branches to support sequential workflows.
Organizations that continue to rely on paper documents are less likely to run at peak efficiency or achieve the highest possible rates of accuracy. Copying documents, manual distribution methods and the risks of human errors during data entry or critical information getting lost in the shuffle diminish the productivity of any enterprise. Find out more about how document workflow software can benefit a business in your industry and request a free trial of Fluix today.