Customer Corner: Every Workflow Project Needs a Good Map

By Tom Martin Posted January 19, 2022

 

A trend that I've noticed is that some customers don't fully understand how to best map out their workflows. Unfortunately, there is no "easy" button that will spit out a ready-made process. However, I can give you a foundation based on experiences I've had working with different customers throughout the years that will guide you through the journey.

Start with the end goal in mind.

While it might sound obvious, it is critical to define the goal of the process. Each department will look at process mapping from its own perspective. Explaining the agreed-upon objective to everyone clears up any confusion from the start.

Understand and accept that some individuals will hesitate to assist or answer questions as change is difficult for many to handle. That's ok and to be expected. Ensure they understand that what is being done is for the health and growth of the organization. Acknowledge that your initial workflow goal should never chase perfection, as a healthy process must be fluid. Every workflow should be challenged over time as the organization matures.

eBook: Getting Users Onboard Your New Workflow System

Documenting and Detail Harvesting.

One of the biggest pitfalls I’ve noticed is when assumptions are made regarding the flow, approval matrix, or even individual tasks to be done. Ideally, you would want to meet with each person who is part of the workflow to understand their piece of the puzzle. Get a copy of the form(s) or screenshots of any data entry done. Take notes of potential overlaps, bottlenecks, or double data entry points.

Conceptualize, Create and Clarify.

Now the fun starts! Sketch out the process based on what you have learned from the team. Make sure that you include the individuals or groups at their touchpoints. Highlight forms or data entry points. Then call a meeting (in-person or virtual) to go over the process from start to finish.

Before taking any feedback or making changes, walk through the entire process from start to finish. You will find that for some (or many), this might be the first time they are seeing the whole process. Then ask for clarification on missing information, or maybe steps are even missing. Document those changes, get questions answered, then meet with the team again. Continue this exercise until everyone in the room agrees that the process is mapped out accurately.

Part of the Journey is the End.

Create the workflow within Integrify, then test out all the different options to ensure it is working as anticipated. Meet with the team that was part of the build to show them how it looks, operates, and any training needed. Then put it into production and celebrate!

What you just accomplished is a big deal. Before diving into the next project, take time for self-evaluation and document those lessons learned. The excitement throughout your organization might be building, the expectations could be growing, and your journey to becoming a workflow master is just beginning. Enjoy the ride, my friends!

Tom Martin

Tom runs Customer Success at Integrify. As a former customer he knows well how customers use Integrify and how to get the most out of it. Tom lives in Wisconsin, loves the Packers, and always brings plenty of cheese curds when he visits. 

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