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4 Steps to Build an Ideal Electronic Workflow

Illustration by Joshua Diniz

In its simplest definition, a workflow is a systematic process. If we go further to explore its scope, a ‘workflow’ is an orchestrated set of steps that help in the transformation and processing of services or information.

In the context of building a workflow using a tool like DMS (document management solution), we would like to elaborate on the creation of an ideal workflow. And since the term is used so often without explanation, we thought it’d be great to share four proper, practical tips on building a process that yields good results for your company.

Identify Your Current Workflow

The first step to building an electronic workflow is to not be intimidated by the term. Period. As daunting as it may seem, your goal is to automate manual tasks that are already part of your workflow. You are just transforming physical, repetitive tasks into digital, automated steps.

Understanding your current workflow is a crucial stepping stone to creating a digital workflow. Traditional workflows rely on every employee knowing ‘their role’ in the life cycle of a document. To add to this, remember that different documents will have their own life cycles bringing in specific steps and procedures.

Here lies the catch. Employees can be trained, but electronic workflows have to be programmed.

Making a map of your current workflows is the basis of creating a digital workflow. Using what we mentioned before, consider the processes and stages that each document undergoes. Include the programs and softwares that are part of your workflows. Make sure to account for the people who take part in each workflow. 

Examine Current Problems

Ask yourself: What are some drawbacks in your current workflows? Are there any challenges that you or your employees face with regard to your traditional workflow? What parts of your workflow are time-consuming? Where does your workflow tend to slow down?

Consider your employees’ thoughts on the process. Allow their input to guide you to break down the drawbacks and limitations of your current workflows. This is an important step that will help create solid, targeted solutions.

Find Solutions

Hold on: this is where we come in.

DMS vendors are equipped with the knowledge and expertise of translating your workflows from physical to digital. With your help, we tailor workflows that fit your company’s needs. Any technical shortcomings are addressed with alternatives/workarounds that still produce the same result your traditional workflow would achieve. Automation and efficiency boosts your company’s productivity.

Execute Your New Workflow

The final step is implementing your new electronic workflow. On our end—as DMS vendors—we make sure that everything works practically and functions smoothly so that your company’s processes aren’t stalled.

On your end, we encourage you to provide technical training to your employees. Workflows and automation can be a very daunting venture for unacquainted employees; let them take their time, incentivize the learning process, and witness growth.

If you’re struggling with clunky traditional workflows and are looking to transition into a digital office—complete with a document management system and automation features (along with many more!)—we would like to recommend our own product, ShareDocs Enterpriser. Learn more on our website, or talk with us here.

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