Workflow refers to the flow of information between various objects which take part in processing these information. It may refer to a larger phenomenon (for example on a social scale), or a smaller one concerning the manner of a company's functioning and the flow of information between specific employees. This term is also related to specific software, improving work in terms of it. What does the phenomenon of the workflow system consist in, and what advantages may result from using it?
WHAT IS THE WORKFLOW SYSTEM?
The workflow system – or rather systems, because we are talking not about one but about many assistance strategies – has been creates specifically to support managing specific business processes. The special software aims mainly at improving the teamwork of an office, group, or department, and in consequence the entire company. The workflow system is usually used in companies dealing with manufacturing or customer service. The system aims at minimizing the efforts which the employees have to put into executing their tasks - so they are able to perform other works, which make the company develop even better. The system works like a manager, dividing tasks and transferring information from one person to another, from one department to a following one, or even between companies.
USAGE AND ADVANTAGES RESULTING FROM IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM
Knowing what does the workflow system do, it is easy to state what advantages arise from using it. However, it’s good to list some of them, in order to make it even more evident how valuable the system is:
1. It divides specific orders and goals into separate tasks, at the same time commissioning particular elements to specific people within the company – thus, everyone knows what to do and how important is his or her part in the functioning of the entire process. At the same time, the system matches an employee’s skills and professional competence with the tasks – thus, everyone is handed a job which won't be difficult to accomplish.
2. The system allows to easily verify who was responsible for what, and who carried out what operation. Every action leaves a mark in the system, thanks to which it is possible to control the progress of specific work stages as well as the quality of the task's execution, in real time.
3. The system develops a schedule which however does change in accordance with the situation. Any delays are being reported, and a new schedule developed. Every employee may also check to what degree has some other employee performed his or her task, and thus knows when will he or she receive an important report or document to deal with. This allows to better plan the tasks and work more efficiently.
OPTIMIZING TEAM WORK
Information flow between particular employees at a company, depends usually on the degree to which they are familiar with each other – if they have a friendly relationship then the contact takes place often, and if not, then the information exchange is less favorable. The case is even worse when we are talking about employees of the same company, but of different departments which are often separated - not only by a few rooms or floors, but sometimes even streets, or are located in different cities. That is why, when a positive outcome of some action and the success of a given company depend on the cooperation between the employees (which is always the case), it's wise to improve it!
When everyone knows what he or she has to do, it is possible to perform a real-time check-up of what has been done, what needs to be worked on now, and also easily transfer important information to a different department, city, or country, which impacts the entire work. The workflow system handles planning the work, but also accounting invoices, and managing costs or correspondence – that way, it does everything which otherwise would have had to be done by people. Therefore, employees have more time to focus on other, more important goals and tasks. And their contacts are more convenient.