Workflow management software helps businesses map out, automate, and optimize their processes and workflows. As companies grow, managing processes efficiently becomes critical for productivity and scaling.
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll discuss:
- What is workflow management and why is it important
- Key benefits of using workflow management software
- Must-have features to look for when choosing software
- 8 top workflow management software tools for businesses
What is Workflow Management Software?
Workflow management software provides a framework for modeling, automating, and monitoring business processes from start to finish. It allows you to define workflows with a visual diagram, assign tasks and approvals, set rules and delegates, integrate with other tools, and track performance.
With workflow software, you can map out the end-to-end flow for processes like:
- New employee onboarding
- Invoice approvals
- IT help desk ticket workflow
- Content marketing workflows
- Order fulfillment
- Lead qualification
- Hiring and recruiting
The software acts as the central command center to model, automate, and optimize these workflows across your organization.
Why is Workflow Management Software Important?
Here are some of the key reasons businesses use dedicated workflow management platforms:
1. Increased Efficiency
Workflow software streamlines cross-functional processes through automation. It reduces manual tasks, errors, and bottlenecks. This results in significant time and cost savings.
For example, automating an invoice approval workflow with rules and approvers mapped out can decrease approval times from days to hours.
2. Improved Visibility
A workflow management system provides real-time visibility into processes. You gain insights into how work is progressing, where bottlenecks occur, which tasks are delayed, and overall workflow performance.
Dashboards and analytics help you identify issues and areas for improvement. You can then optimize processes for greater efficiency.
3. Enhanced Collaboration
Workflow software centralizes all tasks, communication, and file-sharing into a common platform. This is critical for cross-departmental workflows.
Better collaboration ensures hand-offs are smooth and work moves seamlessly between teams and applications.
4. Consistency & Standardization
Workflows software introduces consistency in executing processes through predefined rules, logic, and approvers. This leads to standardization across the organization.
Employees have clarity on how processes need to be handled each time for reliable and predictable outcomes.
Workflow platforms assign tasks directly to employees and track their completion. The transparency enables managers to hold employees accountable for their work.
Overdue tasks are visible so they cannot fall through the cracks, leading to improved compliance.
Key Features of Workflow Management Software
User-Friendly Visual Designer
An intuitive drag-and-drop workflow designer allows anyone to map out processes without coding. Users can model workflows with a few clicks.
A rules-based workflow engine lets you set conditions, logic, approvers, and parameters. Workflows can route dynamically based on rules.
Seamless integration with various applications through APIs helps connect workflows end-to-end across systems.
Assigning user tasks and setting due dates improves accountability. Users receive notifications when they are assigned work or approvals.
Comprehensive activity logs provide audit trails for compliance, tracking, and troubleshooting workflows.
Analytics & Reporting
Analytics dashboards and custom reports offer visibility into workflow performance and productivity. They help identify bottlenecks.
By monitoring workflows, you can continuously improve and optimize processes for greater efficiency.
Flexibility to easily change workflows allows adapting to evolving business needs. Workflows can be modified without IT help.
Top 8 Workflow Management Software
Kissflow provides powerful enterprise-grade workflow software for projects, tasks, and case management. Key features include:
- Intuitive visual designer and pre-built templates
- Advanced customization capabilities
- Role-based access control
- Robust analytics and insights
- Integrations with 1000+ apps via Zapier and webhooks
- Ideal for complex workflows and cases
Kissflow plans are available on a per user/month basis, starting at $7 per user/month for their Pro plan.
Pipefy is a user-friendly workflow management system designed for business teams. Key features:
- Drag and drop workflow builder
- Custom fields and cards
- File attachments and comments
- Real-time notifications and chat
- Team workload management
- Mobile apps
- Integration with Zapier, Jira, Slack, and more
Pipefy offers four pricing plans starting at $7 per user/month for up to 10 users.
Nintex Workflow is an enterprise-grade solution to automate, orchestrate and optimize organizations‘ business processes. Key features:
- Powerful drag and drop workflow designer
- Pre-built workflow templates and actions
- Flexible options for triggering workflows
- Seamless integration with SharePoint and Office 365
- Strong analytics and reporting capabilities
- Highly scalable to complex workflows
- On-premise and cloud deployment options
Nintex Workflow is licensed based on number of workflow executions per month.
Zapier is a light-weight workflow automation platform. Key features:
- Connects apps without coding via pre-built integrations
- Triggers workflows based on events in apps
- Allows building conditional logic
- Large library of templates
- Options for manual approvals
- Easy to monitor workflows
- Affordable for small teams
Zapier has a free plan for basic workflows. Paid plans start at $20 per month.
5. Zoho Workflow
Zoho Workflow allows creating rules-based workflows and automations. Key features:
- User-friendly workflow builder
- 2500+ pre-built applications to launch workflows
- Assign tasks and set alerts
- Customizable forms and approval processes
- Real-time tracking of status
- Time-based triggers
Zoho Workflow plans start at $10 per month for up to 10 workflows.
Asana is a leading work management platform with workflow automation features. Key features:
- Create visual workflows with Asana‘s Tasks and Projects
- Logically organize tasks and subtasks
- Assign tasks and due dates
- Set dependencies and statuses
- Integrate with 1000+ apps via Zapier
- Dashboard to visualize workflow
- Mobile apps
Asana pricing starts at $10.99 per user/month for their Premium plan.
Airtable is a user-friendly relational database and spreadsheet for managing workflows. Key features:
- Flexible data modeling for processes
- Intuitive interface to build workflows
- Automate workflows with Airtable‘s integrations
- Assign tasks to team members
- Set due dates and notifications
- Monitor workflow statuses
- Real-time collaboration
Airtable has a free plan for simple workflows. Paid plans start at $20 per user/month.
Tallyfy simplifies creating structured workflows and standard operating procedures (SOPs). Key features:
- Build multi-step workflows with a drag-and-drop designer
- Convert existing processes to workflows
- Easily make workflows from templates
- Assign tasks and track work
- Visibility into workload and productivity
- Integrate workflows with 1000+ apps via Zapier
- Ideal for standardizing processes
Tallyfy offers a forever free plan. Paid plans start at $19 per user/month.
Workflow management software centralizes the automation of business processes for efficiency, visibility, and standardization.
Key features include an intuitive workflow designer, rules-based engine, integration capabilities, task assignment, analytics, and adaptability.
Leading solutions like Kissflow, Pipefy, Nintex, Zapier, Zoho, Asana, Airtable and Tallyfy provide robust platforms to streamline workflows.
With the right workflow management system, organizations can optimize cross-functional processes for improved productivity.
Streamlining workflows is critical as companies scale operations. The above guide compares top workflow automation tools and considerations for selecting the right software based on business needs. Automating workflows boosts efficiency, ensures consistency, and allows continuous improvement.