How Visual Workflow Software Connects People & Processes

team using visual workflow software to create processes - illustrated people sitting at desk using computers

If you’re managing a growing business, there will likely be a point where automating your workflows will help you improve your team’s efficiency and scalability. When you’re investing in workflow solutions, however, there’s nothing worse than spending time, money, and effort coming up with a process just to try it out and have it fall flat due to bugs, not matching your needs, and other process snags.

Visual workflow software helps you avoid just such conundrums by connecting your people and processes throughout the workflow creation process. Here’s how!

Introducing the People Who Know Your Business Best

The people who know your business processes best are, of course, the team members with their feet on the ground using those processes every day. When workflows are created without their input—say, by an outside developer who’s just given information by upper-level management or one outline to draw from—you won’t be able to fully take advantage of true process customization, and it’s far more likely to result in inefficiencies.

That’s the problem with old-school workflow engineering: it’s intrinsically disconnected from the people closest to your processes because of the expertise and coding knowledge needed just to design the workflow. However, visual workflow software is solving this problem.

The Miracle of No-Code Software

Visual workflow software lets people who will actually use your processes play a part in designing them, which means better outcomes for everyone. Visualized workflow creation also means streamlined processes that are easier to understand, even for non-technical employees. 

And visualizing processes is easier than ever thanks to no- and low-code software created to remove barriers to using design software. Low-code software makes development faster, which means that iterative development works better, so processes can be adjusted much faster as they’re tested out. It also means that developers specializing with low-code systems are often more business process savvy than typical coders since they’re experienced with working directly with business users.

Applications built this way can be reviewed more easily by business owners and team members since the visual elements help them have a better understanding of how the process outlined in the software will actually translate to the workplace. Better reporting and process information visibility helps communication between developers and users so that the workflow is closer to perfect in its first draft, and so that future changes are implemented smoother and faster. 

Because of this, end users can better participate in a process, doing their part faster and more efficiently and making the overall process more effective.

What Is Visual Workflow Software?

Visual workflow software is also known as visual process automation (VPA) and visual business automation. It’s the generic term for software tools that use visual representations of the tasks involved in completing a business process—”pictures” or “maps” of how workflows run, communicate, and deliver value.

Visual workflow software helps improve processes significantly by using a “stack” of functionality to build complex solutions quicker, making it easier to adapt those solutions over time, and by better allowing non-technical employees to participate in creating, revising, and perfecting them. This makes it easier for managers to have a hand in developing their own workflows without having to rely solely on software engineering teams.

The Difference That Visuals Make in a Workflow Design Tool

There are lots of options available in terms of features and functionality in workflow design tools as you begin developing your processes, but they all have different capabilities and difficulties. Many will require advanced coding that you’ll need to hire a developer to write, while others are much more visual and less complicated.

Visual workflow software has all of the features you need—plus some! You can map out your workflows visually, which helps people understand each process faster. Pre-set options, drag-and-drop capabilities, and commonly used steps can help you piece together your customized workflow with a user-friendly interface.

A defined process brings standardization to any common business routine and makes sure that steps are not missed. And with cloud-based software, all changes made by the people creating the process are immediately visible to anyone else working on it—an essential feature for remote teams!

Benefits of Visual Workflow Software

Visual workflow software allows people who will actually use the processes to play a part in creating them, especially by giving developers the ability to rapidly implement changes that real users need. The speed with which processes can be created, implemented, and perfected increases significantly, which means that you can increase efficiency faster and reduce costs associated with larger, longer development.

It also makes your workflows more productive and tailored for your company’s needs. If you’re designing your own workflow processes in the first place, it’s because you need them to be fitted to your business’s specific organization, specialties, and capabilities.

With visual workflow software, you can design processes that are more tailored for your business and less generalized than they otherwise would be. Your team can help your customized workflows get closest to your exact needs by voicing features that are needed and quickly spotting potential problems or weaknesses.

Visual software is more usable for technical users who are not necessarily coders, and the involvement of your team means that they can see inefficiencies or adjustments that need to be made early on. When you rely exclusively on a developer to create your workflow using traditional coding methods (aka, from scratch), you may be limited in terms of how many edits you can make or the timeline allowed for testing and trial.

Workflow platforms provide a “stack” to work with to assemble even complex functionality within pre-built structures. When your own team can collaborate on the creation, implementation, and testing of the workflow, the  improvement stage can work out any bugs and ensure optimal performance.

How Visual Workflow Software Puts Your People First

Visual workflow software makes workflows visual, accessible, and dynamic. These visual representations are an incredible asset that let you design workflows faster, then more easily incorporate direct employee feedback to perfect those processes.

Visual workflow software puts your people first by involving them in the workflow development process and valuing their input instead of simply handing them a set of instructions that may or may not address the actual needs of the team.

Work with ExpressAbility for the Best Visual Workflow Software Experience

If you’re looking for a visual way to manage and improve your workflow, visual workflow software is the answer. However, for the best results, hiring a workflow consultant can get you the best, fastest, and most consistent results—while still cutting the overall cost of getting your software custom-designed from the ground up.

ExpressAbility helps businesses use visual tools like Decisions software to involve their team in the workflow creation process and implement custom, perfectly-fitted process solutions. Your team’s business knowledge combined with our experience with workflow design software and business process needs make the ultimate solution! Contact us today to learn how we can help you.