The Importance of Documenting Workflow Creation for Sharing
One of the most positive “side effects” of creating an automated workflow to better manage a business process is that it often inspires ideas for creating other helpful automated workflows.
Suppose one department creates a workflow for tracking departmental employee training. Other departments, upon seeing the benefits of such a workflow, may conclude that their own training workflow would be a good idea too.
Creating automated workflows is not difficult with the right workflow software, but it’s still a good idea to document workflow creation. This can be tremendously helpful when similar workflows need to be created later, because new workflow creators won’t have to “reinvent the wheel” each time.
In businesses that don’t have departments specifically dedicated to training, the task of ensuring everyone undergoes required and recommended training may fall upon several departments. Human resources, for example, may be in charge of ensuring all employees undergo required safety training at the proper intervals. Individual departments may be in charge of ensuring that their employees are trained in use of a new software package.
The first person or team tasked with creating a training workflow can help others by documenting how their training workflows are developed. It adds some extra time to the process on the front end, documenting which steps are added and why, but it can save time in the long run, because it can prevent future workflow developers from getting stuck or not knowing which step to add to a workflow next.
The IT desk will often choose to create an IT help workflow so that when employees experience problems with software or devices, they have a standard format and procedure for requesting help from the IT people who know how to fix their issues.
The benefits of such a workflow are numerous. Each time the workflow is used, the issue can be documented automatically, as can the solution. The IT desk could even use completed service workflows to make the case for hiring more IT workers.
Service workflows aren’t just for IT, however. Facilities managers may choose to have a similar workflow for requesting help when, for example, lights burn out, keys need to be issued, or a damaged floor somewhere causes a tripping hazard.
When people create workflows, they should document why they included the steps they did and what those steps accomplish. This can make it easier to create new workflows to automate or improve more business processes.
Documenting workflows is similar to creating recipes, in that the document describes each step taken toward creating the workflow, allowing others to do it too. But just as some cooks add more salt, while others take out some of the sugar, these workflow recipes can be modified to suit the needs of the end-user.
Sharing knowledge can save significant time when implemented throughout an organization. Automated workflows also save significant time. So it only makes sense that documenting workflow creation to help others develop their own workflows would bring widespread efficiency gains.
Having the right workflow software is the key to creating workflows that can be modified and adapted for other uses. PerfectForms has an intuitive user interface that allows workflow creators to simply drag and drop workflow elements into place, with no programming required. Modification of workflows is easy too. That means, when you want to take an existing workflow (such as one for requesting IT services) and modify it for another use (such as for requesting building management services), it can be done efficiently and rolled out quickly.
You can take PerfectForms for a free test drive by signing up for a trial. Once you create that first automated workflow, you’re sure to be inspired to think of others, and the ultimate result will be faster, more accurate business operations.