Workflow management is usually linked to project management. Conceptually, they share similarities. However, the common mistake that most people have is to believe that the two terms mean exactly the same thing. They do not. Let’s start with establishing that workflow management and project management are not interchangeable.
Workflow management vs. project management
A workflow is the series at which tasks are organized in order to reach a desired goal. It can be likened to the content of a to-do checklist, a sequence of required chores that must be followed through to produce a desired outcome.
A workflow is usually simpler in nature, deals with routine or repetitive processes, reusable and re-applicable in other aspects or departments of an organization. It allows management to have a means of measuring and predicting the timelines of their production processes.
Project management, on the other hand, deals with the bigger picture. It is an overall application of knowledge, skills, training, experience, expertise, as well as the best tools and techniques in order to direct a wider-scoped organizational goal toward completion. Project management is not usually repeatable, as techniques and methods applied can differ depending on the specific project expectations and goals.
Project management involves active planning and coordination of multilevel activities, sub-projects and sub-tasks that, all together, help in achieving that particular project’s goal. It is also very dynamic, and entails adaptability and flexibility in responding to changes.
The benefits of automating your workflows
Efficiently managing your workflow helps make the most of your time on the job, freeing you to handle and complete other tasks.
In tune to this, a web-based workflow support system can provide pre-built solutions to streamline some of the most common workflow processes.
These solutions include:
- Efficient task management
Eliminate the need for repeating time-consuming status meetings by easily specifying tasks, setting priorities and deadlines, and delegating tasks to team members via an integrated task management software. The auto-generated notifications will keep everyone in sync and productive.
- Web-based central repository
Through web-based remote access, you can direct and monitor tasks in the office or even when on the go. Being a single source, all employees involved also have access to pertinent information. Therefore, risk for errors and duplication are minimized.
With an automated workflow, you can get real-time visibility on any updates to operations, allowing you to work at any place and any time by accessing information through either your desktop browser or any connected mobile device.
- Simplification of multiple processes
Through a visual graph builder, you can easily modify multiple series of tasks and assign accordingly with less confusion. As well, employees are able to see the significance of their specific tasks within the overall operational structure.
- Efficient tracking and auditing
The burden of manually tracking each and every modification to your workflow records and status is lifted. A workflow software stores everything for automatic filing, be that in the cloud or on premise, which gives you clear visibility on who has accessed what information, what has been modified (if any) and when.
- Easier monitoring of schedule compliance
With auto-generated reminders and due date notifications, team members are routinely kept in line with production and delivery targets without manual emailing and meetings.
- User-friendly experience
The best choice for a workflow automation software is one that can be seamlessly integrated with existing business support platforms and document management applications. An easily navigable GUI also decreases the need for additional training.
- Faster forms generation
Manually filing and approving/rejecting request forms can be a drag. A workflow automation software can help eliminate the burden through ready-made templates and embedded forms generators.
Managing time efficaciously inside your organization facilitates increased profits through the delivery of projects on time and within budget. Being mostly repeatable and modifiable in nature, an organization’s workflow can be easily automated and tracked. And if you’re worried about jumping into such a commitment, some companies offer trial periods for free, allowing owners to eliminate the risk of incompatibility.
Image credit: Pixabay