Workflow: Every business delivers a product or service to its customers. And for that to happen, it carries out a series of activities in a particular order and follows specific procedures.
It’s like a cake recipe: you take certain ingredients (inputs), make some preparations (activities), and, in the end, you have a cake ready (output).
What Is Workflow Anyway?
It is easy to understand what workflow is. To begin with, the meaning of workflow, translated from English, is workflow. Is the concept of workflow still need to be clarified to you? Then see this definition that explains very well what workflow is:
When this sequence of tasks is drawn on a schematic model with directional arrows indicating the flow direction and the activities represented in balloons, it is called a flowchart or process diagram, depending on the notation used. Now you have no more doubts about what workflow is. Great!
Have you ever thought about designing hundreds of processes for a company by hand? It is clear that with the advances provided by digital transformation, this stage of the business organization received the help of technology.
The so-called industry 4.0, the result of the fourth industrial revolution, uses workflow tools to design processes and automate them!
Thus, some tasks are no longer done by people and become automatic. And it is also possible to analyze the performance of processes through performance indicators captured and shared in real-time.
This is the concept of workflow in BPM, Business Processes Automation. But before getting to know some free workflow tools, learn how to create one.
How To Set Up A Workflow?
Workflow, what it is, you already know. But how to design a workflow? Well, this task is easy. Well, if you correctly follow the instructions, we will give you one.
The Elements Of A Workflow
The first step in building a workflow is to identify its elements. In our workflow model, we will use the production flow of a communication agency as an example when creating a campaign.
Check, then, what would be the elements of a campaign creation workflow following the structure of a communication agency :
- Agents: These are people, teams, departments, etc. In an agency, they would be the service, the client (he is part of the flow because he approves the pieces, for example), the creatives, the creative director, and the production area, among others.
- Tasks are the actions necessary for the final delivery to take place. At the agency, we could mention briefing, creative team brainstorming, proposal approval, creative work, etc.
- The initial event is that action that initiates the entire workflow, the workflow itself. Thus, when a customer contacts the agency’s customer service and requests the creation of a campaign, this is the initial event: the customer’s order.
- End Event: When does the job stream end? In our example, when the customer approves the last part, the process depicted in the workflow ends.
- An entry is not necessarily the starting event. Inputs are information and resources that the workflow needs to be executed. In our example, the client’s briefing for the agency is one of the essential inputs for the process flow.
- Outputs: the final result of the workflow is an output that can even be the initial event of another process. But not always. In our case, delivering approved parts to the customer is an excellent example of outputs.
- Bifurcations: the flow of tasks can take different paths depending on some events. For example: if the client approves the campaign budget, creation can start work. If not, a new budget needs to be created.
After defining all these elements, they are ordered in a chronological sequence. Indicative arrows show the flow of activities as they are performed.
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