A workflow management system offers an organizational infrastructure for the systematic arrangement, execution and management of a sequence of activities, arranged in a workflow format. It facilitates communication between project managers, team members and resources.
The workflow management software can be used in many places and is available on a computer network. The software is controlled by a web-based application that can be accessed from any location. Workflow applications usually have an interface that allows users to enter data and change the workflow state. It also facilitates the synchronization of all workstations in the same organization.
There are mainly three types of workflow software available today. They include desktop management software, collaboration software, and computerized task management (CTM) software. Desktop management software is used to manage projects in an organized manner and provide centralized information for employees and departments. It is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. A collaborative workflow software facilitates information exchange and works as an online resource for project teams.
There are several workflow requirements according to the size and complexity of a given project. Large projects, for example, require workflow software that is not only flexible but also powerful. When choosing workflow software, it is advisable to identify what workflow elements will be most useful for your project. In general, the software should integrate well with other programs, such as Microsoft Project, Lotus Notes, or HTML. It should also allow project managers to track the progress of the project from beginning to end and include important workflow events.
A comprehensive workflow solution should allow a manager to define workflow events and create workflow tasks. It should provide automatic triggers for workflow events and provide pre-defined workflow templates. The workflow software should also allow easy integration of files and documents, so project managers can update documents and projects as necessary without requiring the system administrator’s intervention. Project managers can use the built-in task and event calendars to schedule and notify employees and departments about workflow events.
Workflow software should support multitasking. It should be easy to access, move, and edit work items and data, and be able to perform complex workflow operations, such as creating, moving, and renaming multiple work items in one workflow item. It should be designed so that project managers can easily track workflow occurrences and resolve problems when they occur.