One of the key benefits of e-workflow is how it naturally encourages greater accountability. While we often hear about e-workflows in conjunction with automation, that does not take the human factor out of a workflow process entirely. Instead, it creates a predictable system where everyone knows who should be engaged in a process at what time and what steps to take.
Unless workflows are designed well and easy to understand with transparency, when things go wrong the result is often finger-pointing. There is not always a clear way to understand where the process fell apart, and nobody wants to be the one held responsible. E-workflow adds that vital transparency, not to make finger-pointing easier, but to uncover areas where greater accountability is needed.
How e-Workflow Helps with Accountability
Creating and using a workflow of any type ensures that every step of a process is documented. However, when these workflows are handled manually it is all too easy to miss a step. With e-workflow, everything is documented and digitized so that users cannot move to the next step unless the first is fulfilled.
Alerts, reminders, and other built-in notifications do away with both forgotten tasks and excuses as to why something did not get done. For instance, in an e-workflow, if someone does not submit a form by the deadline, they could automatically receive an email, text, or alert. If that alert does not result in the task being completed, the system can escalate more notifications to superiors.
Perhaps most importantly, when workflows are digitized they create strong analytics and data for auditing. Nobody wants to be audited, especially if it is a potential compliance issue, but it is critical to have this information available and accurate. If there is ever a need for auditing or reporting, e-workflows have already recorded the information needed, documenting who did what and when.
Looking at e-workflow as a whole, all these pieces come together to give CIOs, CTOs, and other management the opportunity to improve operations. On top of isolating incidents where individuals or departments could improve, e-workflow offers a deeper look at systemic issues. These platforms can unveil the cause behind bottlenecks, lost productivity, or inefficient work thanks to data and reporting.
Understanding the Real-Life Applications of e-Workflow for Accountability
For aerospace companies, e-workflows improve accountability and visibility as this research paper outlines. Visual tracking of workflow status and role assignment for each task shows what is required, who is responsible, and when it should be completed. In the aerospace industry, accountability and compliance are key, as one single error can create a major cascade of problems.
The paper goes on to note some of the challenges CIOs and CTOs will have to overcome to realize these benefits. While it is written for the aerospace industry, it is certainly applicable across many organizations and industries. Perhaps most importantly, the paper notes that human factor issues are a main obstacle to the acceptance of e-workflow systems.
In implementing an e-workflow system, some workers might feel like their decision-making power is reduced. Others may feel like they are being overly monitored and that their privacy is being invaded. It’s important to help employees understand how the accountability of e-workflow will improve their work and corporate culture, while keeping some level of flexibility.
Adding Accountability to Your Workplace with e-Workflow
The workflows your business or organization uses to get work done already exist, with or without the insight to make them better. As technology improves and clients expect greater service and more accountability, there is no time like the present to invest in e-workflow. By streamlining processes and removing repetitive, manual tasks, your organization will get work done, and get it done right.
Nobody wants to work in an organization where there is a corporate culture of blame and finger-pointing. E-workflow removes guesswork and emotion from understanding where things go wrong and where they are going right. Every task, action, and result has data attached to it, showing how things were done (or not done), by whom, and when.
At GroupLink, we offer cloud-based e-workflow and work from home solutions for organizations and businesses in numerous industries. Our e-workflow solutions include everything HelpDesk, SafestSchools and Workflow Process and Incident Tracking. We work with each client to ensure that our e-workflow systems are well-suited for their needs and implemented and integrated properly.If you have any questions or want to learn more about our e-workflow systems, we are happy to help. Get in touch with our team online or call us at 801-335-0700. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.