Workflow Management

Written by Serena Berger
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Workflow management tools are intended to assist businesses in developing, planning, and ultimately deploying a business plan. Once a formal plan has been developed, these systems are intended to help delegate individuals to specific tasks to achieve your business objectives. Part of the difficulty in using workflow management systems is that you have to give formal definition to each business process.

Even the most basic tasks must be identified if they are part of a chain of events. For example, there are several stages of submitting expenses for reimbursement. These steps include submitting an expense report, submitting receipts, processing the report, approving reimbursement, and reimbursing an individual.

The events are part of a chain, and future events cannot proceed until previous events have been marked as complete. A workflow management system must be told when actions are taken and each step is completed so that it knows to proceed to the next step. Though it may seem unnecessary for basic office tasks, workflow management systems can assist in delegating responsibility when there are many members of a group working together.

Making Use of Workflow Management Systems

Workflow management can be used by both employees and managers. On the one hand, it provides guidelines to team members so that two people are not performing the same tasks. Managers can also make use of the systems for monitoring purposes. Rather than trying to schedule meetings (which often waste time) when both the manager and employee(s) are available, a manager can see what stage the project has reached and meet with employees only when truly necessary.

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