10 Features Every Workflow Management Software Should Have
With the rapid pace of business today, companies need tools and systems that can streamline their processes, improve efficiency, and help manage the growing complexity of daily operations. Workflow management software has become an invaluable solution that allows organizations to define, automate, track, and optimize their business processes. However, with many workflow management platforms on the market, it can be daunting to determine which solution best fits your needs.
Selecting the right workflow management software is crucial for maximizing productivity, reducing errors, improving collaboration, and getting the most value out of your investment. The workflow software market is expected to grow to $16.7 billion by 2030, which means more choices are on the horizon. As you evaluate options, where do you start and what should you look for?
In this blog post, we provide ten essential tips that will enable you to make the right decision when choosing a workflow management software for your company. With the proliferation of features and vendors, having a structured approach for selection is key. The goal is to find a flexible platform that aligns with your processes, integration needs, and budget.
We will walk through best practices on defining workflow requirements, evaluating ease of use, assessing scalability, comparing security features, and calculating total cost of ownership. With information on key elements like mobile accessibility, analytics, and training resources, you will be able to create a checklist of must-have capabilities. The aim is to help you make an informed software decision that meets your unique workflow automation and process improvement needs.
The right workflow management software can offer immense value by breaking down silos, promoting collaboration, providing visibility, and enabling continuous optimization. However, the advantages cannot be fully realized without careful evaluation and selection. This blog post will ensure you know the essential factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing workflow software. Let’s get started on the ten tips that will guide you in investing in a solution that can transform the way you do business.
10 Tips to Select Top Workflow Management Software
- Define Your Workflow Needs and Processes
- Consider Ease of Use and User-Friendly Interface
- Evaluate Mobile Capabilities
- Assess Flexibility and Customization
- Review Integration Capabilities
- Consider Scalability
- Evaluate Analytics and Reporting
- Look for Robust Support and Training Resources
- Compare Security and Compliance Features
- Consider Total Cost of Ownership, Not Just License Cost
1. Define Your Workflow Needs and Processes
The first step is to have a clear understanding of your goals and workflow processes. Analyze what tasks and procedures you aim to manage, automate, and optimize. Examine your current workflows and identify bottlenecks, redundant steps, and opportunities for improvement. Outline the roles, inputs, approvals, and hand-offs involved in key processes. This mapping ensures you choose software that can address your specific needs and integrate with related systems.
2. Consider Ease of Use and User-Friendly Interface
Simpler is better when it comes to workflow management software. The solution should have an intuitive interface so users across your organization can easily create, manage, and monitor workflows with minimal training. Look for drag-and-drop workflow designers, templates to accelerate building, and flexibility to model processes. Make sure the software is easy to use on both desktop and mobile. The software should be adopted seamlessly rather than getting in the way of your workflows.
3. Evaluate Mobile Capabilities
In today’s workplace, employees need access to information and approvals on the go. Prioritize workflow software with robust native apps for iOS and Android. The ability to monitor workflows, receive notifications, make approvals, and check dashboards via mobile can boost productivity. Evaluate offline capabilities, mobile task lists, GPS features, and accessibility across devices. Having workflows available on mobile minimizes delays and bottlenecks.
4. Assess Flexibility and Customization
While your initial requirements are clear, your needs will inevitably evolve so seek adaptable software. Look for the ability to easily modify workflows as processes change without relying on IT. The solution should provide built-in customization options, branching logic, drag-and-drop workflows, rules-based routing, and dynamic form builders. Make sure you can tweak the user interface, forms, reports, and integrations as you scale workflows. The software should adapt to your workflows rather than the other way around.
5. Review Integration Capabilities
The value of workflow software increases when it integrates with your existing software like ERP, CRM, HRIS, and billing. This eliminates redundant data entry and provides a centralized view of workflows. Seek software with open APIs, webhooks, and hundreds of pre-built integrations. It should connect to documents, databases, apps, and analytics. Review the strength of partnerships with major platforms. With turnkey integration, you get more from your tech stack and streamline cross-functional workflows.
6. Consider Scalability
Ensure the workflow software can expand with your evolving business needs. You don’t want to be forced into frequent migrations. The solution should easily handle increased workflows, complexity, integrations, forms, users, and locations as you grow. Check if the software offers unlimited workflows, forms, data storage, and user seats. Seek cloud-based architectures built for scale versus on-premise software with capacity limits. Review customer case studies to assess scalability. Your investment will go further with an enterprise-grade software that scales.
7. Evaluate Analytics and Reporting
Workflow software becomes more powerful when layered with digital intelligence. Ensure the software provides dashboard monitoring of workflow metrics like cycle times, bottlenecks, SLAs, and workload. Look for drill-down insights into processes, real-time status tracking, and baseline benchmarking to spur continuous improvement. The analytics should encompass roles, teams, and processes so you can optimize performance. Customizable reports and visualizations allow you to extract key data to guide decisions and workflow optimization.
8. Look for Robust Support and Training Resources
Getting the most from your workflow software relies on tapping into the vendor’s expertise. Sufficient training resources and responsive customer support ensure you fully leverage capabilities as your program matures. Evaluate available live/virtual training, videos, documentation, online academies, and knowledge bases. Review the support tiers, channels, and response times. Seek vendors invested in your success via adoption resources and best practice guidance. Ongoing education and timely support provide comfort when scaling your workflow initiatives.
9. Compare Security and Compliance Features
Workflow software centralizes your critical information, so evaluating security is crucial. Ensure the solution offers rigor like role-based access, MFA, encryption, VPN/VPC access, SOC2 compliance, and data recovery. Review permissions, authentication, auditing, and integration security. For cloud systems, examine the vendor’s data center protections. If workflows handle sensitive data, the software must meet your security imperatives right out of the box. Workflows will stall if users don’t have confidence in the platform’s security model.
10. Consider Total Cost of Ownership, Not Just License Cost
The upfront software license cost is just one factor in your budgeting process. Take a holistic view of the total cost across setup, configuration, integrations, training, support, maintenance, and users. Account for any hidden costs around customizations, change requests, migrations, and new capabilities. Seek transparent pricing models and assess value versus acquisition costs. While cheaper tools seem attractive, they can require excessive configuration and support trade-offs. Workflow software is an investment, so ensure the ongoing TCO aligns with your budgetary goals for maximizing your return.
Concluding Thoughts on Best Workflow Management Software
Selecting the best Workflow Management Software is an important decision that requires aligning capabilities to your specific needs. This blog post provided ten tips spanning must-have features, ease of use, analytics, scalability, security, and TCO considerations. Defining your goals, processes, and pain points is essential upfront work. Develop a checklist and scorecard to systematically evaluate options. Take advantage of free trials and demos prior to purchase. With an informed selection process, you will be equipped to invest in a future-proof workflow management platform that boosts productivity, visibility, and continuous improvement. The right Workflow Management Software will transform how your business operates.
Amelie Lamb is an experienced technical content writer at SoftwareStack.co who specializes in distilling complex software topics into clear, concise explanations. She has a talent for taking dense technical jargon and making it engaging and understandable for readers through her informative, lively writing style.