A workflow is the sequence of processes and steps taken to complete a task or produce something. Often it is a repeatable pattern of activities needed to: launch a collection, produce next month’s campaign, hire a new employee, or … well, you get the picture.
So, workflows are there whether documented and managed or not. The big difference is that if you uncover and document the flow, you get a chance to optimize it – and in that way, save your company money and time.
Creating a workflow diagram or chart can be done in 5 relatively simple steps. It can take quite some time to identify all the resources needed, all parties involved, and every part of the process. Once it is in place, the workflow will help you and your organization tremendously.
- List all tasks related to the particular project.
- Identify the resources available.
- Map out who should be responsible for each step of the process and assign the different roles and tasks.
- Create a visualization of the process by making a diagram/flow chart.
- Run through the workflow to ensure all tasks are listed in the right order and with the right assignees.
Now you are ready to use the workflow!
Why should you spend time managing workflows in your organization? The simple answer is that it will help you keep track of and optimize the process, deadlines, material, approval processes, and everything else connected with, e.g., a marketing production.
Managing workflows across departments and suppliers can be an incredibly manual and complex task that requires project managers to coordinate and ensure that deadlines are met, processes followed, and so on.
Besides the fact that it is often tedious and repetitive, it also requires a lot of resources that could be adding greater value elsewhere in the organization.
So how do you keep track of and manage ever-changing workflows without taking up all those resources? The easy and best way is to use workflow automation. Take the manual aspect out of the equation and eliminate a lot of potential errors all at once.
With the right workflow tool, you will not only be able to manage workflows more automatically. You will also simplify your digital asset management and keep up with compliance and GPDR regulations much easier since the system will keep track of who is portrayed on which pictures, copyrights on your material, and so on.
The most noticeable difference between manual and automated workflow management is how the materials and tasks are handed over – and who is keeping track.
The manual process requires you to have one or several project managers controlling the process. Your employees need to keep track of the latest version of the material, make sure changes and corrections are not lost, meet deadlines, and notify freelancers or other departments. At the same time, that no compliance and GDPR is violated.
Here knowledge is fragmented, and the production process is sensitive to all involved parties being present and accessible for the production to run smoothly.
With workflow automation, the system will run the processes for you and take a big part of the workload: automatically notifying the right parties, reminding the person next in line about tasks ready for them, reminding about due dates, and much more.
The workflow management system will keep information on the process, rights, and legal uses of digital and other assets, where the process has come to hold, and who knows what about specific steps and tasks.
In that way, automated workflows can optimize the process, making it both faster and with fewer errors – which then reduces costs.
Another advantage of automated workflows is that they are easier to update when processes change – which has become a constant in most industries and trades.
Once you have mapped out your project, approval, or another relevant workflow, it is time to take the next value-adding step: analyzing and optimizing the process.
Mapping out the workflow will give you an overview of the current state and thereby allow you to identify bottlenecks, redundant tasks, find the parts of the process, where errors typically occur, steps that can easily be automated, and much more.
If you are looking to improve your workflow through analysis, contact us to get an analysis of your existing workflow state, including the following:
- Time spent on all workflow steps
- Level of skills available at each step of the workflow
- Costs per workflow step