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Workflow Definition

Workflows are essential to the everyday function of your business. 

By actively improving this aspect of your operations, you get an extra opportunity to streamline resources and create operational efficiency, from the field to the office.  

In this article, you’ll find out what workflows are and how to implement their effective management, ensuring the growth and success of your business.

What is a Workflow?

A workflow is a series of tasks, activities, and processes designed to achieve a specific business goal or objective, and is often driven by documents and reports.

It dictates how the process is to be managed, the order in which tasks are completed and who is responsible for completion, and rules and/or conditions that need to be met.

Every type and size of business within every industry, from renewable energy to construction and aviation, utilize workflows of some kind. Common examples are procurement workflows, timesheet workflows, and quality inspection workflows. These might be completed entirely by humans or a combination of human and digital systems.

It’s easy to confuse workflows with processes, but these terms have separate meanings, which you can learn about here.

Types of Workflows

There are different types of workflows and it’s important to note the differences between them.

Process Workflow Definition

A process workflow is a visually represented sequence of tasks, steps, actions, and decisions required to complete a specific process, with a structured view of how work should flow from the beginning to completion.

This type is somewhere between a case workflow and a process workflow in terms of repeatability. Every project is slightly different, however, the data is approximately the same and is typically predictable.

The follow-up steps resulting from the data input will involve branching, but can still be mapped with relative ease.

Case Workflow Definition

A case workflow is a series of tasks required to process data as a one-off event. Each workflow may be somewhat similar to the next, but the input data will greatly impact the steps involved.

For example, a forklift inspection will likely be a case workflow. This is because the series of tasks will depend on the work required to fix any specific issues with the forklift.

Project Workflow Definition

A project workflow is a structured sequence of tasks, activities, and processes that outlines how a project will be planned and executed.

This type is somewhere between a case workflow and a process workflow in terms of repeatability. Every project is slightly different, however, the data is approximately the same and is typically predictable. 

The follow-up steps resulting from the data input will involve branching, but can still be mapped with relative ease.

How technicians at RWE Renewables use workflows to reduce daily form completion time by 45%

Workflow Examples

Any series of steps that involves processing data can be defined as a workflow — and there are countless examples in the business world. 

Some common examples include:

  • Equipment Inspection: The workflow begins when a technician opens the equipment inspection checklist. They follow the steps outlined in the checklist and complete an inspection report as they go. 

Once the checklist is complete, the report is submitted and forwarded to the relevant managers. This will include the technician’s manager as well as anyone responsible for follow-up actions. 

Any necessary repairs or maintenance can then be scheduled as required.

  • Performance Reporting: This workflow may be periodic or ongoing, depending on the needs of the organization. 

Performance data can be automatically gathered and compiled into a report to be reviewed by a manager. This is a repeatable process that’s mostly driven by software.

  • Team Member Onboarding: Onboarding a new team member is a common workflow across all businesses. 

This begins with forms being sent to the new employee and their supervisor to collect data about the individual and the role. 

The information is then processed by the HR team, which leads to follow-up processes from different departments, such as legal and IT.
Most businesses utilize many different software applications, systems, or processes, so it’s valuable to connect everything together with workflow integration. This can only be achieved with professional purpose-built software, such as Fluix.

What Are Workflow Rules?

When documenting your workflows, you’ll decide on the rules to govern them. This can cover everything from who has permission to access data to who needs to give approval before a task goes ahead. Essentially, these rules are a set of predefined actions that guide and control your workflows.

These actions, or rules could be event triggers, or time triggers. Rules are easier to establish when you have high-quality software aiding workflow management. 

Most workflow management software can apply rules to predictable and repetitive tasks. However, certain tools can apply rules and automation to case workflows as well, which demonstrates how finding the best tool can seriously improve many areas of your business.

Workflow Creation and Management

Initiating a workflow means making critical decisions about the required actions and their precise sequence of execution. This involves mapping out the entire sequence, running tests, and making necessary adjustments.

Much like any facet of business operations, it’s essential to actively oversee workflows. Neglecting proper management can lead to inefficiencies and errors cropping up, which can hinder productivity and overall success.

Learn more about how to create a workflow, and the stages of implementing and optimizing workflows based on your business processes

Simplifying Tasks with Workflow Automation

The more complex workflows you have, the more challenging it becomes to manage and maintain them. Workflow automation is what helps you simplify many tasks by eliminating repetitive routine, ensuring faster execution and enhanced visibility into their progress.

Learn how workflow automation can streamline your operations, increasing efficiency, and simplifying workflow management.

Improve Your Workflows with Fluix

Fluix is a workflow automation solution. It gives organizations like yours the necessary tools to maximize the efficiency of your team and business.. 

With Fluix, your field ops can complete digital documents, such as reports and checklists that are instantly available to everyone in the office. 

Plus,  you can increase the accuracy of everyone’s work and maintain better records for auditing and compliance.

Start Improving Your Business Processes
Let us show you how Fluix workflows can make a difference for your organization
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