Having A Project Management Workflow Software Can Be Indispensable For Your Business

Having A Project Management Workflow Software Can Be Indispensable For Your Business

Key takeaways

  • Project management workflow can be defined as a sequence of tasks that are done in a particular order to complete a project, reach a goal, and finish a process step. 
  • A project management workflow is a way of breaking down complex processes in a project into manageable steps. 
  • There are 5 stages in a project management workflow – outlining major tasks, gathering resources, assigning tasks and roles, testing and refining, and automating the workflow. 
  • Your business needs project management workflow software to have centralized control, better collaboration and planning, improved accountability and transparency, better resource management, and reduced risks. 
  • The top features to look for in a project workflow management software include a user-friendly interface with a designer dashboard, planning and schedule management, role-assigning options, collaboration and documentation management, and project templates.

If you are someone who works on projects or manages a team, you are then familiar with how quickly a project can spiral and things get out of hand. To manage the chaos you need solid project management workflow software. There are four main types of project management software such as web-based, desktop, integrated, and client-server.

You need to determine which type will be beneficial for your organization based on the scope and the number of projects. Having a project management workflow software can help avoid confusion, improve collaboration, and increase productivity to finish tasks on time. 

Table of Contents

When you and your team start to work on a new project, you will quickly realize how things would start to spiral when there is no proper project management workflow software. One of the major threats to a project’s success is when you and your team lack clarity about what needs to be done when it should be done, and in what order things should be done.

These things can cause severe complications and waste money and resources, affecting the project’s success. On average, a company without project management workflow software can waste up to 11.4% of the total project resources. This is why it is essential to go over budgets before starting a project, and this needs to be done regularly.

Therefore, when you have project management workflow software, you can have a better understanding of how the project workflows, have better collaboration with the team members regarding deadlines, and better communication with the team, which increases trust and improves efficiency in completing the project successfully.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn what project management workflow is and how having a project management workflow software can be indispensable for your business.

Definition of Project Management Workflow

Project management workflow can be defined as a sequence of tasks that are done in a particular order for a team or an individual to complete a project, reach a goal, and finish a process step.

Project management workflow is a way of breaking down complex processes in a project into manageable steps. Then, these small steps are sequenced logically. Sequencing them will help teams to complete their tasks effectively.

Having good project management workflows is crucial for the success of a project. Project leaders and managers can easily see how the project progresses and help them identify if there are any stoppages or confusion.

What is Project Workflow Management?

Now that we have seen the definition of project management workflow let us briefly look at what workflow management is and what a workflow means in project management.

Workflow management can be defined as the process of identifying, organizing, and coordinating a set of tasks to produce a specific outcome. It’s all about optimizing and automating workflows to increase the efficiency of the output and reduce redundancies.

What are Workflows in software project management?

A workflow can have any number of steps and involve any combination of people, machines, and software which will help improve opportunities for better visibility and eliminate bottlenecks in the flow. Process workflows in software project management can be defined as the series of activities or tasks that must be completed sequentially or in parallel to achieve a certain business outcome. These are pre-determined in most cases, proceed in a linear fashion, and are defined by business rules.

Implementing process workflows adds value as they embed the activities to become a part of the usual business activities followed by employees. It also improves consistency as each employee follows a definitive approach which results in consistent business outcomes. When there is consistency, project managers can identify potential areas of improvement and maximize efficiency.

Moreover, there will be an integrated process that eliminates confusion and inconsistencies that will result in errors. Process workflows can take care of the issues and help team members to focus on the bigger picture. In addition to this, you will have a paper trail of management of all activities and tasks which makes it easier during audits.

An example workflow of a new hire/onboarding process.
Onboarding is an essential step in hiring, starting with the initial intake of new employees for the company. The process must be seamless and comply with the company’s legal and regulatory requirements.

Typically, the onboarding process involves a series of back-and-forth attention from stakeholders, trigger notifications, sending emails, male phone calls, etc.

As soon as the applicant information is obtained, the process starts with scrutinizing the candidates based on their assessment results. The selected candidates are then moved to the next step and verified for their credentials and background checks. Once the candidates pass the checks, their offer letters are released, and their joining dates are scheduled. This workflow can be automated using project management workflow software.

A workflow management system should enable users with automated and seamless execution of workflows. It allows users to define and model workflows, set deadlines, set budget limitations, and other environments they wish to execute. The workflow management system can then be used to evaluate the inputs and execute them under defined constraints. A workflow management system generally depends on software tools that require a specific skill set to implement specific algorithms in the cloud.

They are electronic mechanisms that make routes for work tasks and communicate with people within a workgroup, a business unit, or departments in an organization. When one person finishes the task, the workflow system will examine the business logic and notify the next person in the chain.

Stages in a project management workflow

Step 1. Outline the major tasks that need to be done

Irrespective of the size of the job or the process you need to create a workflow which you can start by defining your boundaries. After this, you can outline all the major tasks involved in the project that need to be done for the successful completion of the project. 

Make it as detailed as possible for easy understanding and ensure they are arranged chronologically based on their priority. You need to communicate with different departments and individuals to ensure that the list created includes all the relevant people involved in the project. 

Step 2. Gather resources

Now that you’ve prepared the list it’s time to identify what tools and resources you need for executing the tasks. The resources include both tools and people. The tools shall be software, templates, files, office supplies, etc.) and as for people include those who are ideal for the project completion. 

Step 3. Assigning tasks and roles

The project management workflow is incomplete without assigning tasks and establishing roles for different individuals in different departments. If you are creating a reusable workflow here, then it is not wise to be too specific. Don’t add specific people but rather specific roles such as front-end developers, QA engineers, graphic designers, etc. 

You can use pre-made templates from a workflow automation tool to save you and your team the manual work of assigning tasks in the long run. You can customize these templates to fill in specific resources and change them as per your project needs. 

Step 4. Testing and Refining

Before testing you can also create a workflow diagram that helps your team visualize and understand tasks easily. There are different types of diagrams but the most commonly used is the flowchart. 

Once the project workflow is done it has to be tested before actual deployment. It may not be perfect the first time around, but it can be improved by trial and error. Keep on testing and refining the workflow by making improvements and adjustments. It is best to involve your project team during the testing and improvement phase. 

Step 5. Automating the workflow

Once the workflow is tested and refined, the final workflow can be automated using a workflow automation tool. Automating your workflows can eliminate manual labor-intensive work and enhance your productivity.

Once you’ve established the sequence of steps, you can use a workflow automation tool like Cflow which lets you customize and automate your workflows without any coding making it more efficient.

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Build fully-customizable, no code process workflows in a jiffy.

Why Do You Need Project Management Workflow Software?

When you can visualize a project using project management workflow software, you can have a more detailed view of the steps involved in completing a project. So having a project management workflow software is beneficial for the success of both the project and the organization.

1. Centralized Control
A project management workflow software is important because you will keep everything centralized. With centralized management, you will have better access to information and can reduce the back-and-forth emails and phone calls in the approval process. All the members and stakeholders involved in the project can easily access the information and find out what’s going on.

2. Better Collaboration And Planning
Without a system, it will be difficult for your team to stay on schedule. Furthermore, while managing a large project, each team member is assigned a specific responsibility. To ensure that everyone stays on the same page, you need to have better collaboration. A workflow project management software can simplify team collaboration and enhance planning and communication. The software will have features for file sharing, team communication, data sharing, team dashboards, shared team calendars, task prioritization, and time slots. With these features, your team will be able to prioritize tasks and work accordingly toward the project’s success.

3. Accountability and Transparency
Team productivity depends on who is responsible for what. With workflow project management software in place, there is better transparency and accountability. Every stakeholder in the project can check who is currently working on a specific task and can easily visualize the project workflow. In this way, each team member working on a specific task is accountable. This converts into productivity. A workflow project management software will accelerate, simplify, and improve reporting accuracy, providing better transparency for the whole project execution.

4. Better Resource Management
This is another place where workflow project management software comes to save the day. Aside from managing your team, it is essential that you take care of the resources for the project. To ensure that operations are appropriately handled without hitches, you will need an outline of the needed materials, tools, and equipment for the project. Moreover, you will need to formulate a budget along with the profit and contingencies that need to be forecasted. A workflow project management software can help project managers estimate costs to maximize profits, provide all the essential resources for the project operations, and calculate their usage accordingly.

5. Reduced Risks
Since most of the workflow project management software nowadays is cloud-based, all information is documented and provided with central data storage. These tools come with KPI dashboards and key metrics, which enable better reporting and help identify problems precisely and find a solution immediately. This reduces the risk of project failure by eliminating missed deadlines, legal complications, and any other potential issues.

Deciding on the Need for a Project Workflow Management Software

Now that you know the benefits of project workflow management software, it is essential to know how to determine if you need one.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a definitive start and end date for the project?
  • Is there a clear understanding of the goals of the project?
  • Are the tasks in the project recurring, or do similar components keep repeating every month or quarter?
  • Is there a clear understanding of who is working on the project?

Even when there is a definitive answer to their questions, having a project management workflow software can essentially be helpful. Some of the signs which tell you that you need one:

  • Projects are delayed due to poor email communication, and the tasks get accumulated in the team members’ inboxes.
  • There is an evolving confusion with the busy and overlaying spreadsheets.
  • Members miss their deadlines due to the lack of accountability and transparency in the process.
  • Poor communication and conflict among team members result in the lack of complete individual tasks.
  • Redundancies in completing specific tasks assigned to team members in a project result in unnecessary delays.

Therefore, leveraging project management can be the best solution for streamlining all your workflows. This will enable your team to deliver the project on time and achieve high-quality work promptly. The best software you choose will enable you to track multiple projects simultaneously and provide easy monitoring of deadlines and individual team members’ progress.

Top Features to Look for in a project workflow management software

The features of project workflow management software vary with different platforms. However, these are some of the top features to expect from the tool:

  • The dashboard, which will spell out each employee’s work progress, shows assigned tasks and notifies tasks that are due.
  • Planning and schedule management will allow the project manager to assign tasks, incorporate new tasks, and have a glance at the work progress without overwhelming the members.
  • Role-assigning options to add a team member each time a new task is assigned. This will let other team members know who is responsible for each portion of the project.
  • Collaboration and documentation will allow for remote collaboration and communication. Also, the documentation can be done remotely and in a secure file-sharing way where the assets can be stored safely with central access.
  • Project templates are an essential feature where these templates can be easily customized to fit business needs.

When the project management workflow software has these features, watch for the pricing. There are multiple tiers with these pricing plan structures, ranging from free, entry-level to premium options, costing a fortune each month. You need to evaluate your financial investment and make a smart move based on the business needs considering – the number of users, features, billing cycle, and affordability.

How Cflow Can Be Your Power Tool

When it comes to project management workflow software, Cflow is your power tool. Cflow has adequate resources that help you create accountability and drive you to continuous improvement. You can easily create workflows with Cflow for your entire project team, providing you with better visibility for potential streamlining. You can also easily identify and eliminate potential risks and automate workflows to enhance efficiency.

Cflow is completely cloud-based, ensuring that every move is documented digitally, thus making you paperless. It gives the highest level of security with bulletproof AWS data centers for storing all your important information, and you control data encryption. With automated backups, you don’t need to worry about data loss. So, Cflow is your out-of-the-box project management solution.

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