Seeing the stack of documents on your desk can be disturbing and overwhelming. But thanks to the modern era in which we live, it’s all digitized now, so the stack is now transferred to your desktop. If it helps.
But it’s still there.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know what it took you to grow your business from the start. Everything you’ve done, you’ve done for the sake of growing that beautiful tree you now can call – your success. But, bigger the tree, bigger the shadow. In this case – costs.
If you could do just one thing that would ease your work and increase your efficiency – would you do it? And with that, lower your costs?
I guess the answer is – yes!
Of course, there are many actions that can be done, but we’ll suggest the one that’s low cost but highly efficient.
Managing your document workflow.
You can do it by yourself, using some document management systems or combining those two.
Usually it’s best to use a combined way, giving your personal touch to it and then leaving to software to enhance it. But either way you choose, keep in mind that not only you will benefit from this process but your employees too. They’ll be more proficient, but also the risk of human error decreases.
Efficiency is the key in this case. It does bring a lot in upscaling your business and productivity of the employees.
But first let’s define what a document workflow really is.
Keep on reading to learn more.
What is a document workflow
Document workflow is the entire process from the creation of the document to its approval and archiving, its entire lifecycle.
- storing, and
- overall document management.
It’s a sort of map or step-by-step guide for you and your employees to follow, making the process more efficient and less subject to errors.
Being a business owner or a manager, you know how important it is to make everything work promptly. And how many different documents you’ll have to manage in order to keep everything documented. Also, it’s not that rare that you lose a lot of time waiting for some document to be confirmed.
With that in mind, one action you’ll have to do is – manage document workflow.
You can easily do it yourself, it takes some time but it’s not that demanding. Or you can choose a third party to do this for you, but even then you’re the one that’ll give them the directions. After all – who can know your needs better than yourself?
It’s all up to you, but if you keep on reading you’ll see it’s not that complicated.
How to create an effective document workflow
Like in any process there are a few steps you need to take to get quality final results.
Here is the list of six steps you should follow:
1. Identify and plan
First and probably most important step is to determine what sort of workflow you’re managing. Majority of businesses have more than one documentation workflow, therefore it’s important to identify exactly the type of the documents and the department that’s using them.
It’s a part where you can ask employees in the particular department about problems they might have in sending and receiving documentation and hear their suggestions.
Knowing all that you can plan your new and efficient workflow.
2. Choose the structure and create
In the process of planning, keeping the comments of your employees and stakeholders in mind, you’ll choose how the workflow will look. That means what steps are going to be taken in order to get the process done most efficiently.
3. Use form templates
Using form templates is a highly efficient way to put your documents together. Create a system that conforms in style and layout – get them an identical look and avoid any mistakes made by employees while making them. It can benefit the efficiency of the workflow a lot.
4. Choose and agree to
This is the part where you, and the experts that are working with you, review created content, documents and routes, making sure there are no mistakes or ‘wrong turns’ in the selected workflow. This means checking whether you made a good structure of the workflow itself. If it shows as good, you’ll approve it and it becomes constant in the documentation process.
When this is done regularly, the validity of the process is going to be on a very high level.
5. Getting the feedback
After you approved and implemented document workflow the next important step is to call for feedback from your users/employees.
This will help you find and define problems in your ongoing workflow process. Also, you’ll be able to adjust the process to employees and thus make them feel like a big and important part of your line of work.
It’ll definitely make them feel better about the job, and increase their efficiency.
6. Inspect and upgrade
As we understand by now, this whole process takes a lot of work, even though it’s not that complicated. But once you establish one workflow, the next will be much easier to do.
Also, even when you get it to work perfectly, your business is not static, it evolves and that means your documentation too.
It’s recommended to do evaluation every few months to be sure everything is functioning as it should be.
Now when you’ve established, working document workflow, let’s see what is out there that you can do to make the process even better and faster.
The expected trends in document workflow for 2023
With every year we witness new technology upgrades and with that everything shifts at least one level up. It can be applied to almost every sphere of our lives and document workflow is not an exception.
Here are some new trends in this area and ones that are predicted to become trends. An important guidance to you, to make an effective document workflow for your business in 2023.
Increased use of cloud storage
Even though almost everything is in the digital world nowadays, the 2020 pandemic caused the shift of a lot of workplaces to remote systems with increased use of cloud based systems.
Looking to the future it surely will become a regular practice not just for remote jobs. There are many benefits from using cloud storage, especially for documentation workflow.
With it you can make the whole process transparent and available to your employees 24/7. Also its low cost and improved security and disaster recovery can make a big difference in handling your business. We can say that in nowadays working environments using this system is a necessity. It’ll bring your documentation workflow to another dimension, and once you try it be sure you’ll never go back.
Business process automation
One of the most important document management trends for the last few years is business process automation.
These processes can help in some monotonous processes like data entry. It can save a lot of time and give your employees the opportunity to do other, more demanding tasks.
Automation process is efficient, valid and scalable. Combined with a cloud based system it can do a lot to your business process efficiency.
More use of AI – artificial intelligence
Use of artificial intelligence -AI- is not science fiction anymore. Welcome to the future. Or present.
It can be intimidating to some level, but we have to become aware of the fact – this is only going to grow and improve. Why not start using it ?
The benefits of these systems are colossal. It’s like an automation process, but capable of doing more complex actions like classifying documents by recognizing similarities in sets of data in the documents. Or, it can strengthen document security by identifying some personal information on the document and then storing it in agreement with your policy on sensitive information.
Document workflow made possible – and efficient
Now that you know all that’s being said about documentation workflow, all you need to do is – make it. And make it work. Make it work not just for you and your business, but for the benefits of your employees. It’ll help them in managing their daily tasks and obligations in a much easier way.
If you are that kind of a business owner, your employees are blessed. And believe us – your business will be nourished as your employees are.
The post 6 Ways to Create an Effective Document Workflow in 2023 appeared first on Design Your Way.