They say it’s not the destination; it’s the journey that matters. For business process management, the destination is pretty important, but it is in the journey that the magic is accomplished. Business process workflow is the journey. It’s all the intricate and simultaneous motions that happen between the beginning and the end of the process to get to that destination, result, product, or service.
The result is symphonic when it’s done right.
Imagine you’re at a symphony. You can see the orchestra sitting still and quiet just before they begin. By some unknown beat or rhythm, suddenly, every musician slightly moves, lifting instruments and breathing in. The wings of the conductor unfold and swoop through the air and you hear the first solitary note. One instrument and then two. Two parts turns to three and then an entire section joins. And another. And soon, every musician is playing a crucial part in the entire production. This is what it’s like to experience the magic of business process workflow. Think of workflow as a finely tuned and well-coordinated repeatable, pattern of actions. These actions are the sequence of operations to best complete a business process.
A customer makes a big purchase on a company’s website. After that purchase, a receipt should be emailed to the customer. The details of the interaction should be logged, and probably across multiple systems. Internally, the sales rep should be tasked to follow up with this customer in two weeks. The regional manager should be made aware of such a big purchase. A few weeks after receiving the purchase, the customer should be sent a customer satisfaction survey. And so a process goes. Naturally, it becomes more intricate. For example, if the customer felt the product was below quality and reported this in the customer satisfaction survey, there should be a set of sub-steps to accommodate for that scenario. Are these “shoulds” being fulfilled without an automatic workflow process? Professionals get stuck doing these manual, repeatable, tasks. What’s more, because overstressed, overworked, professionals are doing these jobs, there is a huge margin of human error. The process can bottleneck. Information can be lost or forgotten, and details can get pushed to a “To-Do” list of backlogs. This can cost a business in tremendous ways. Two ideas should stand out to you when thinking of a forms business process: automatic and connected.
The work part of workflow is automatic. “It does it for me; I have more time.” “It does it for me; I don’t forget.” “It does it for me; I don’t make mistakes.” Automatic workflow solves many large problems at once. It creates tasks and future events based on various triggers. It sends customized alerts and reminders. Forms are translated into multiple languages, automatically. A form can be set with conditions and mandatory requirements. These improvements can lead to a reduction in resource costs and a boost in customer satisfaction.
The flow part of workflow is connection. Integration, to be clear. The Form application integrates with all the other systems you use. Information actually flows from one system to the next. Form workflow can send and receive data from other applications and it allows for custom API calls. Important data is accessible instantly in any of the linked systems. A process usually moves from system to system, form to form, task to task, or person to person. What good is the automatic action if the information doesn’t move automatically, too?
The challenges of creating the right workflow process can be met with automation and integration. Manual admin work is gone from the day. Business process management just got a lot easier. Productive, happy, professionals are able to put their best skills to work for the business because they’re no longer bogged down with time-wasting, manual, work that software could do instead. It’s an ultimate “two birds/one stone” business solution. But it’s more than two birds we’re talking about, and they’re pretty big birds.
Automatic and connected solve the problems of human error and give professionals back a huge piece of time. With forms automation, the process is no longer dependent on an individual person or group to carry out tasks accurately; on time; every time, with the same superior display of quality, best practices, and regulations. By integrating the automatic process with all relevant systems, all necessary details are logged instantly, across systems and professionals no longer spend time searching for info or performing redundant work. They are freed up for more productive, creative, challenges. The accomplishments possible with workflow are truly works of art. Try it for your business process management. If you listen just right, I think you'll be able to hear Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major.