Features Every Workflow Management System Should Have

Workflow Management
A workflow management system (WMS) provides specifications on which tasks should be performed, how to perform them, and where they should go next. Organisations use WMS to automate workflows to save time and money.

It can also improve relationships between employees by simplifying the steps needed to complete a task, making it easier to collaborate with other colleagues.

Any company or organisation that operates via the exchange of goods or services is likely using some workflow management system whether they know it or not. A customer receives an email about their order; this is one kind of automated workflow for processing orders, beginning with receiving the payment information from the customer through fulfilment.

All organisations have multiple workflows that need to be managed to keep the business running smoothly and efficiently.

What is a Workflow Management System?

A workflow management system (WMS) is a software application that allows you to create, monitor, and optimise your workflows. A workflow defines a series of tasks that need to be completed to achieve an outcome. Workflow management systems automate these tasks and help you track their progress.

Essential Components of a Workflow

For a workflow management system to be effective, it must include three essential workflow components: predefined steps, stakeholders, and conditions. Let's take a closer look at each one:

Predefined Steps: For employees to easily follow a workflow, it must be clear and concise. That's why each step in a workflow should be predefined and well-documented. This way, everyone involved knows precisely what is expected of them and can easily refer to the documentation if they need clarification.

Stakeholders: A stakeholder is anyone who has a vested interest in the success of a workflow. They could be an employee responsible for completing a task as part of the workflow or an external party such as a client or customer. It's essential to identify all stakeholders and keep them informed of any changes or updates to the workflow.

Conditions: For flows to be effective, they must adapt to different circumstances and scenarios. Conditions ensure that any changes or updates made to a workflow are accounted for so everything continues to run smoothly.

Three Basic Workflow Management Practises

All businesses should implement three basic practises to get the most out of their workflow management system: clear defined workflows, prioritised and streamlined workflows, and regular monitoring and optimization.

Clear defined workflows: A well-defined workflow is a key to a successful workflow management system. Employees need to know precisely what is expected of them and the next step in the process. By creating clear and concise workflows, businesses can ensure that employees can complete tasks quickly and efficiently.

Prioritised and streamlined workflows: To be effective, they first need to focus on the most critical tasks. A WMS should allow businesses to prioritise and streamline their workflows so that the most vital tasks are always done first.

Regular monitoring and optimization: A WMS should be monitored and optimised regularly to ensure that it is functioning optimally. Businesses should test different workflows and make changes as needed to find the best possible solution for their needs.

Features Every Workflow Management System Should Have

Here are the features to look for in a workflow management system. Let's take a closer look at each one.

An Intuitive, Code-Free Workflow Designer

The first thing you'll want in a workflow management system is an easy-to-use designer. Ideally, you should be able to create workflows without any coding required - simply by dragging and dropping shapes and connectors. This will make it easy for non-technical users to get up and running quickly.

WYSIWYG Form Designer

In addition to a code-free workflow designer, you'll also want a WYSIWYG form designer. With this tool, you'll be able to drag and drop fields and format them quickly and easily.

This is useful for several reasons:

  • It allows non-technical users to create the forms they need with very little training - saving time and money on IT resources.

  • It reduces mistakes since you can preview how the form will look before it's published.

  • You can use an almost unlimited number of customizations, including branding and colour schemes that match your company's style guide.

Integration with other cloud apps​

Email is one of the most commonly used business apps, but it doesn't always play well with workflow management systems.

That's why it's essential to find a system that integrates well with other cloud apps, such as Google Apps. This will make it easy to move data back and forth between systems without manual work.

Cloud-Based Technology

Another critical feature of a good workflow management system is cloud-based technology. This means that the system is hosted in the cloud, making it easy to access from anywhere - no installation required. And since the system is always up-to-date, you don't have to worry about installing software updates or patches.

KPI-Based Reports

To effectively manage your workflows, you need to track their progress and performance. That's why it's crucial to find a system that includes KPI-based reports. These reports will give you insights into how your workflows are performing, so you can make changes as needed.

SLA Status Indicators

In addition to KPI-based reports, you should also look for a system that includes SLA status indicators. These indicators will show you whether or not your workflows are meeting the agreed-upon Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This is important for ensuring that your customers are always happy with the level of service they're getting.

Notifications when and where you need them

One of the biggest challenges of managing workflows is ensuring that the right people are notified at the right time. This will vary according to each workflow, but ideally, your system should make it simple for you to determine who needs to be notified and when they need to be informed.

It would be best to have an easy way of testing notifications before sending them out, so you don't interrupt anyone unnecessarily.

Parallel Branches

One of the most beneficial features of a good workflow management system is parallel branches - otherwise known as conditional branching or decision points.

These allow you to create multiple pathways through your workflow - so if one branch fails, it won't affect any other branches in the same workflow. This makes it easier to implement a genuinely modular work process than ever.

Role-Based Access Control

One of the biggest challenges when automating your business processes is giving users access to exactly what they need - without allowing them access to more than is necessary. That's why it's essential to find a system that includes role-based access controls so that you can set up different levels of permissions for different people and jobs.

This will make your workflow management more effective and efficient than ever before.

Transparent Pricing

Finally, be sure that your choice in workflow management systems offers transparent pricing with no hidden fees or surcharges added on top of the monthly price.

It should also include unlimited forms and field types for all users at no extra cost. This will ensure that you get the best value for your money and that you won't have to worry about running out of space or features down the road.

When choosing a workflow management system, it's essential to make sure that it includes all of the features mentioned above. By selecting a system that has all of these features, you'll be able to streamline your business processes and improve your bottom line.


Workflow management systems are essential for all businesses, regardless of size or industry. By choosing a WMS with the features outlined in this article, companies can get the most out of their workflow management system.

In addition, by implementing the three essential practises listed above, businesses can ensure that their workflows are efficient and effective.