Workflow Management: What It Is and Why It Transforms Projects
Projects stalling before the finish line? Stakeholders constantly blowing up your email inbox? If it feels like your workflows are causing more problems than they’re solving, it might be time to reevaluate your approach. That’s where workflow management comes in.
Let’s dive into workflow management, what it can do for your workflows, and the tools you’ll need to get it done.
What is workflow management?
A workflow is a map for getting routine work done in the fastest, most efficient, and most satisfying way possible. It’s about getting specific projects — like a marketing campaign — off the ground and across the finish line as efficiently as possible. Any kind of project your team has to work on regularly relies on a workflow.
So what’s workflow management? It’s about making a workflow as effective as possible. Usually, project managers and other workflow experts rely on software tools to find the steps in each workflow that aren’t as efficient as they could be and smooth them out. Sometimes that means integrating two tools that work together, eliminating redundancies in a process, or even just reducing the number of stakeholders for a specific project.
Here’s what workflow management can do for your workflows.
The benefits of workflow management
Why even bother with workflow management? Just having a workflow is good enough, right? Well, in the same way that relying on a defined workflow is better than just working on everything in an ad-hoc manner, actively managing your workflows is better than just letting them do their own thing. Here’s why.
When you’re doing the same kind of project over and over, you want to know things will go off without a hitch. With workflow management, the rougher parts of your workflows can get smoothed out, meaning you don’t caught on the same snags repeatedly.
One of the most important aspects of workflow management is documentation. After all, you need to map out your workflows before you can manage them. The documentation you get out of this process is a great tool for answering questions about how your workflows, well, work.
Efficient use of resources
When you let things run on their own, they have a tendency to swallow up resources. Time is wasted as individual contributors run around trying to get the latest update on a project, money might disappear down a growing freelancer hole, and billable hours climb across the board. By actively managing your workflows, you ensure that there’s no overspending.
A big part of managing a workflow involves managing people’s expectations. Stakeholders know when their input is required and how that input is affecting an ongoing project. Individual contributors know who they’re working with and how. Basically, everyone has a better idea of what’s going on, so there are no misunderstandings or missed deadlines.
What is workflow management software?
Workflow management isn’t something you do with a few loose leafs of paper and a pen. Usually, project managers use a host of software to automate manual work, streamline processes, and communicate expectations across multiple departments. Workflow management software can include many different tools, but here are a few examples — and why they should be in your stack.
All-in-one project management tools
Project management tools help you track tasks, assign work, and hit your deadlines. But while many of them are great for managing projects, they usually only handle very specific parts of your workflows. But with a tool like ClickUp, which has a built-in word processor, chat app, and more, you can make it a part of your workflow from start to finish. That makes it easier to streamline all sorts of processes.
Because workflow management brings transparency and consistency to your projects, it needs a way to document everything — and share the results. Filing cabinets are not the best way to do that; documentation tools like Confluence are. Treat them as your dictionary, encyclopedia, and roadmap for everything workflow.
The purest workflow management platforms are the ones that manage the gaps between your tools and streamline manual work that can eat up hours of your day. That’s where tools like Unito come in. Unito is a no-code workflow management platform with the deepest two-way integrations for some of the market’s most popular tools, from ClickUp to Asana and GitHub. Here’s how Unito users manage their workflows:
- Boveda: Cutting costs by syncing tasks between Wrike and Jira.
- Atlassian: Streamlining team coordination and project management in Trello.
- Digistore24: Handling complete workflows from ClickUp to Jira and Slack.
- Corpay: Creating transparency between Asana and Airtable.
Unito is the strongest workflow management tool out there that doesn’t require any technical experience to set up. Best of all? It’s free for 14 days, no credit card required.
Under new management
Workflows are at the core of everything your team is doing, but it’s too easy to just let them run on their own. With workflow management, you can take an active hand in making sure your projects cross the finish line. And when you have the right tools, you’ll be the envy of every project manager in your organization.