Workflow System – In which industry can it find application?

08.01.2024
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It is commonly believed that if something is for everything, it is for nothing.
On one hand, there is a lot of truth in this, but on the other hand, this wisdom is often overused. I mention this because if I were to say that a workflow system can find application in every industry, some readers would likely react intuitively in exactly that way.

Our perspective changes when we ask the question: In which industry would a text editor or, even better, an email program find application?

Here, surely no one has any doubt that it would be in every industry. This is because they are universal tools that facilitate our work, acting like a blank sheet of paper until we perform any actions with them.

What is a workflow system?

It is an IT tool that allows for algorithmic task flow between users. It is easier to understand with examples. A workflow system can assist in optimizing processes such as:

  • Circulation of cost invoices
  • Incoming correspondence
  • Purchase requests
  • Leave applications
  • Support
  • Complaint handling
  • Contract approval

As seen, the above processes are not specific to any particular industry.

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Does this mean that the circulation of invoices looks the same in every industry and every company?

Certainly not. Here, an analogy to the mentioned blank sheet of paper is helpful.

In a workflow system, we can design process definitions to be adapted to a specific industry, company, department, or business area. The common features remain the idea of a process flow and the interface of a particular system. However, different inputs may appear, various actors will be involved, the flow definition will differ, and the product of this process will vary.

This means that whether a workflow system finds application in our company should be determined by criteria other than just industry fit. But that is a topic for a separate article.

I will, however, draw attention to a separate issue, which is the competence of those implementing it.

Beautiful and functional furniture will not be created just because the workshop where they are produced has the best tools. The desired result comes together with the design, materials, skills of the workers, and their motivation. The same applies to the implementation of document and case management systems.

When deciding to implement one, choose carefully the people who will carry it out, or if you have them in your team, use easily configurable low-code tools to avoid becoming a hostage to a specific vendor.

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