One of the most interesting things that tech companies are noticing when their products sell well is that the products are generally not fully utilized by many of the customers. This is something that is definitely happening with DMS programs like eFileCabinet. If you are in an office that has invested in a document management program, then one of the main components that developers say you are probably not using is the workflow features.
Workflow is one of the most complex processes that was added to DMS programs, and it can be of major use to you in any business setting. There are a lot of ways to utilize it, and trying to explain how it all works would take much more than an article. For your purposes, it would help to understand the 3 main ways the workflow functionality of your document management software can help you. These consist of bi-directional processes, workflow group options, and the ability to track the source of errors.
For most people, a project that needs to be completed will be handled in a linear fashion. This generally involves a list of functions and tasks that must be completed before the project can be considered finished. To accomplish these tasks, you will start at the top of the list and work your way down. While this seems simple and organized, which it may be, it certainly is not the most effective way to get a lot of work done.
Utilizing the workflow technology embedded in your DMS program will allow you to work much faster because you can split up that list of tasks in more than 1 direction. There will be no need to start at the top and work your way down. You can split things up and delegate them to others on the team, and the needed tasks can get done at a much faster pace.
As documents are created, edited, and passed along, they do not have to move down the line in 1 direction. Your process map will consist of nodes, or different people/departments that are handling different steps of the project. Each new edit and addition can be sent to each node on the process map. The presence of double arrows along the path enables each node to be aware of all communication happening every step of the way.
For the nodes, this is helpful as communication is made easy, and the visualization of what needs to happen will be more apparent. Where the bi-directional processes will really shine, however, is when management is involved. Basically, the need for micro-management will all but disappear when this workflow feature is put to use. When the workflow can adapt to the needs and issues of each specific project with ease, then the managers will be able to handle more complex nuances of the system with much less effort and thought.
Basically, this bi-directionality facet of the workflow technology embodies the spirit of the old saying about 2 heads being better than 1. Put your working nodes to better use by getting rid of your linear way of thinking.
Workflow Group Options
Some projects are better done with groups, and others really should be handled by individuals. With DMS technology, the ease of sharing information and sending along communication makes it possible for managers to create the perfect task force for each project that comes along.
There is no longer a need to have the same people heading up each project that comes your way. You can analyze the needs of the task at hand and figure out the right workflow option to best suit that task. Knowing that you can fully stay in the loop, whether the task is delegated to a single person, a small group, or an entire department, should make the manager’s job a lot easier.
Tracking the Source of Errors
One of the most fascinating benefits of the workflow features on DMS programs is the ability to track errors. All of the documents can be edited and the changes will be saved. This is a well-utilized feature of document management software. What many clients don’t realize, however, is that within the system each version of the document is saved in the database.
What this means for you is that if something goes wrong, it is possible for you to analyze the workflow progression so that you can see exactly when the mistake was made, who was responsible, and how far it was allowed to go before being caught.
Mistakes are going to happen. Humans are innately flawed, and despite working with amazing technology, errors are going to creep into the work at some point. What you need in these situations is the ability to identify the real source and put in place the right work to make sure the error is properly resolved. The ability to track such errors will also open up a good opportunity to provide training to those who really need it.