Image: Document Approval Workflow
What is workflow?
Business Dictionary describes workflow as "the progression of steps (tasks, events, interactions) that comprise a work process, involve two or more persons, and create or add value to the organization's activities." In a sequential workflow, each step is dependent on the occurrence of the previous step; in a parallel workflow, two or more steps can occur concurrently.
The example above is a typical Document Approval process.
- Step 1 is to create a draft
- Step 2 is getting approval for the draft
- If approved, proceed to Step 3, publish the document and the workflow is completed.
- If not approved, repeat Step 1, and so on until the draft gets approved and published.
Workflows happen every day in all businesses. Sometimes they are just not defined in any document or diagram but rather they are just practiced by training or apprenticeship.
What are the common business workflows?
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Expense Reimbursements
- Expense Liquidation
What is a workflow software?
The workflow software is also known as Business Process Management (BPM) software. Its main features do the following:
- Provide a means to design workflows, like the example above "Document Approval Workflow"
- Automatically execute and route work to different employees or people.
- Have a means of tracking the progress of each workflow or process
Activity Factory is a workflow automation tool that allows companies to build consistent and auditable compliance and operational workflows, ensuring that the right processes are followed at the right times while staying compliant.