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Workflows and Processes

Understanding the difference when it comes to workflow vs process – and the elements that sit within them – is key to eliminating bottlenecks, avoiding repetitive tasks, and ensuring the smooth flow of work.

By the end of this article,  you’ll have a clear understanding of workflows and processes, the difference between them, and how they can redefine efficiency, boost productivity, and support your business growth.  

What’s the Difference Between Workflows and Processes?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually have distinct meanings. 

A workflow involves the repeatable, step-by-step activities needed to complete a task. 

For example, some workflow for the construction industry might include a quaality inspection workflow, plant inspection workflow, inspection workflow, etc.

A process refers to all the elements necessary to accomplish larger organizational goals. 

For example, a process for on-site safety inspection may include workflows and tasks to complete compliance documentation, and worker H&S training.   

To truly optimize your workflows and redefine efficiency, it’s essential to bring these elements together in a cohesive approach.

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Workflow vs Process: Comparison of Key Components  

Workflows account for granular details up to small-scale objectives, while processes refer to more comprehensive outcomes.

Let’s explore the other key differences between workflows and processes.

DefinitionSeries of steps or actions required to complete a specific taskCollection of activities and resources that work together to achieve organizational goals
FocusGranular details and small-scale objectivesBig-picture outcomes and comprehensive objectives
ComponentsActions, tasks, and proceduresElements encompassing actions, tasks, roles, and resources
PurposeFacilitate the completion of a task or set of tasksSupport the achievement of larger organizational objectives
ScopeNarrow scope, focusing on specific tasks or activitiesBroad scope, covering entire organizational processes
RelationshipWorkflow is a subset of a processProcess encompasses multiple workflows
Strategic ImportanceCrucial for ensuring efficient task completionVital for aligning multiple tasks and resources 
OptimizationStreamlining workflows can increase productivity and reduce wasteImproving processes can enhance overall efficiency and effectiveness
ComplianceModifying workflows can ensure compliance with regulationsProcesses provide the framework for meeting regulatory requirements
AccountabilityWorkflows outline specific actions and responsibilitiesProcesses establish overall accountability
OutcomeWorkflows contribute to achieving objectives   Processes drive organizational success

How Do Actions, Tasks, and Procedures Contribute to Workflows?

Within a workflow, you’ll come across various terms like “actions,” “tasks,” and “procedures” that describe the different components. 

  • Actions are the specific activities performed by stakeholders or automated by a system.
    For example, an action may be to complete the first day inspection checklist
  • Tasks are a series of related actions carried out to achieve specific results or outcomes.
    For example, the task may be to train the site managers on various health and safety requirements on site. 
  • Procedures are sequential tasks that form a distinct phase of a workflow. 
    For example, a procedure may be granting approval of employee timesheets

How Do Workflows and Processes Intersect with Regulatory Compliance and Workplace Standards?

From construction, to HVAC, to aviation – almost all industries are required to adhere to some form of compliance regulation. 

Workflows play a vital role in meeting external regulatory requirements. While compliance standards are typically set at the process level. To meet and exceed compliance and workplace standards, a workflow management system is key. 

What Is a Workflow Management System?

A system designed for this purpose, such as Fluix,  provides an all-in-one solution for meeting compliance and workplace standards. 

By digitalizing your workflows and processes with this automation platform, you can connect employees with responsibilities for greater visibility and control. 

This helps everyone to stay on task and the entire company to maintain compliance. 

How Can Workflows and Processes in an Organization Be More Efficient?

Productivity and efficiency are at the heart of workflows and processes. To optimize these elements, every aspect of your business should be carefully analyzed.

By breaking down and evaluating each action, task, and resource involved, you can increase productivity, reduce redundancy, and minimize waste. 

The best way to achieve this is to use professional software like Fluix. It’s  a workflow automation platform that easily enables businesses to transition away from outdated manual processes to a more efficient system. 

Whether it’s to enable the sales team, ensure health and safety requirements are met, seek document approvals, or train your staff, Fluix can help you identify the gaps. 

Fluix helps businesses just like yours save over 3,000 hours annually with our workflow automation.

By bringing all business processes online, our workflow software ensures a streamlined and collaborative approach.

Want to Start Automating Your Workflows and Processes?
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