Regardless of the size of your organisation, at some point in your company’s development, you are going to have a need for some kind of workflow management system (WMS). In a nutshell, workflow management systems are organisational programs that provide a formal structure for responsibility and accountability for meaningful work within your company. The general purpose of a WMS  is to ensure that everyone is maintaining their maximum production output. After looking over your options to find the WMS that’s right for your industry and team structure though, you will most likely discover two important facts:

  1. Not all workflow management systems are created equal
  2. Many workflow management systems offer too many or too few features

The good news is that determining which is the right workflow management system for your business is a matter of assessing three criteria:

  1. The ability to automate repetitive business process tasking your employees
  2. Automatic follow-up on incomplete tasks/processes
  3. Provides a big picture view of your business’ workflow with metrics for performance

In order to get the best value for your investment in a workflow management system, it absolutely has to serve these three functions. If your WMS can’t do these three things, it is unlikely that it will be able to keep up with your operational sequences, making it a hindrance to productivity as opposed to a help. Once you have one that works for you, there are a few features and approaches to configuring and administrating your WMS.

  1. Choose a system that creates workflows in business steps, not individual technical activities.
  2. Make sure that your form designer can create forms that users will immediately and instinctually understand how they should be completed.
  3. Lack of cloud integration is a deal breaker. Don’t adopt a WMS without cloud integration.
  4. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are fundamental to an effective WMS. Make sure yours can generate easy to understand KPI reports.
  5. Service Level Agreements allow you to monitor the efficiency of your processes within your business so that no task takes longer than it should, to be completed. Make sure your WMS features SLA Status Indicators within the system so you can stay on top of any rate limiting factors affecting performance.

Overall, an effective WMS can enhance productivity and make it easier to see where the business and meaningful work are slowing down. Determining the weakest areas in your daily processes is absolutely crucial to staying competitive and ensuring that your overall work output helps you maintain strong performance consistently. If you are looking to automate processes and increase efficiency within your organization, definitely do your research before investing in said system. The right features for the right processes and monitoring metrics can make all the difference.

For your reference, we have included some generic workflow management systems which you may want to take a look at here: