You know how there are processes in your job which depend on several
people to perform a part of the activity? And how sometimes the process gets stuck
for various reasons? Well, then you'll love
Workflow Management is a set of tools which route work "packages" - which can include electronic files and document images managed by a Document Management system - from person to person according to a set of rules
. The work can be track
ed and monitor
ed. The workflow can be routed so that it balance
s workloads - making sure everyone gets an even share - and so that people who are absent are skipped in favor of those who are taking over for them.
It is also possible to track the progress
of the work and obtain statistics
on amount of work pending and completed by date and by user. Tracking of these statistics can help organizations anticipate time of greater or lesser need for resources, and locate "problem areas".
The effect of implementing Workflow Management is to increase the speed
with which the work is performed and the volume
of work that can be completed by the group.
Typically Workflow Management tools come bundled with a Document Management
package. Some examples are LiveLink and VisiFLOW. Unfortunately, packages which have very strong Document Management functionality (i.e. Documentum) have been poor in Workflow Management, and vice versa (i.e. VisiFLOW). Now both sides of the spectrum are expanding, and the tools available are more comprehensive
. They aren't perfect yet though.