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Here’s how to choose the right workflow software for your business

All of us at monday.com
All of us at monday.com

    What is about workflow software that’s got everyone so hyped? (or is that just us?)

    No, it’s not just us. This whole industry is kicking off!

    Y’know why? It’s because of the huge increase in efficiency.

    Let’s put it this way: 54% of workers say they could save around 5 hours a week by automating some of their work.

    This is exactly where workflow software comes in. 

    If you’ve got cutting-edge workflow software — something like monday.com — you’ll be able to automate recurring tasks.

    Items will, like a boat down a river, move through the workflow on their own. And you can sit back, sipping at something with a little umbrella, and enjoy the ride.

    Think of all the time you’d save by automating repetitive admin, approval workflow, and recurring notifications.

    Read on to learn exactly what you should look for in workflow software and which tools you should be adding to your team.

    A few top things to look for in workflow software

    Ultimately, the job of a workflow management system is to streamline the end-to-end processes of your organization.

    In short, this means speeding up operations and facilitating collaborative work between teams.

    But what exactly should you look for in workflow software?

    1. A cloud-based tool

    Since many teams are now remote or globally-distributed, it’s smart to invest in cloud-based workflow management software. That way your team can access workflows wherever they are.

    This is a no-brainer.

    2. Workflow automation

    If you truly want to save time and supercharge efficiency, workflow automation is the key.  Right now, half of organizations are automating processes to increase efficiency.

    Workflow automation increases efficiency in two main ways:

    • It automates recurring tasks
    • It moves items through the workflow automatically

    On the one hand, that means your team spends less time on menial admin and more time on their jobs.

    On the other, it means that fewer jobs and deadlines are missed thanks to automated notifications and reminders.

    automate recurring tasks monday.com

    3. Extensive, advanced, modern features

    When it comes to workflow software functionality, think about which features are going to speed up workflows, boost accountability, increase efficiency, and enhance collaboration.

    Key functionalities to look for include:

    • Digital forms
    • Individual and team item assignment
    • Advanced scheduling
    • Multiple workflow views (Kanban, Gantt Charts, Calendar, etc)
    • Progress tracking
    • Communication tools
    • Customizable notifications
    • Reporting
    • Document management

    4. A code-free builder

    You need a tool that’s simple for everyone to use, otherwise, no one’s going to use it (and you’ll be spending hard-earned money on something that gathers dust in the corner).

    It’s no use choosing a workflow management tool that requires a computer scientist to operate it.

    If you want seamless collaboration on workflows, you need a code-free workflow tool that makes it easy for anyone to design, change, and manage those workflows.

    Something (dare we say it?) like monday.com and its customizable, code-free workflow templates:

    Keep an eye out for tools that offer comprehensive libraries of pre-built workflow templates.

     Not only does this speed up the process of building digital workflows, it also offers a straightforward solution for the less tech-savvy members of your team.

    To build customized workflows, look for a workflow management software with a drag-and-drop editor rather than something that requires complex coding.

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    introducing the monday apps marketplace

    5. Seamless integrations with the tools you already use

    No doubt your teams are already using a bunch of tools. From sales software to payment platforms, most teams harness a patchwork quilt of tools to drive end-to-end processes.

    Your workflow software should pull all these tools together for a streamlined workflow so your team no longer has to keep flicking between tools.

    Make sure you check which integrations are available before you commit, don’t just presume.

    While monday.com integrates with over 40 applications, we know some of our competitors only connect with a handful of tools.

    Need workflow software? Try these!

    By streamlining your processes into a highly-visible, intuitive workflow management tool, you improve team efficiency and reduce room for error.

    We don’t mean to blow our own trumpet, but monday.com is the best workflow software out there. Don’t believe us? See how well it fares against other popular workflow tools out there.

    1. monday.com

    Not only is monday.com super simple to use for just about anyone, its Pandora’s box of features that increase workflow efficiency and nurture team collaboration.

    Let’s first take a look at a few of our core features:

    • Code-free workflow builder: design, change, and manage complex workflows on monday.com, no matter how much of a technophobe you are.
    • Ready-made templates: get up-and-running in no time with our library of premade workflow templates we’ve made and the templates our customers share
    • Intuitive easy-to-use platform: onboard your team quickly with our highly-visible dashboards that make sense to everyone
    • Multiple views: enjoy 360-degree visibility on workflows by switching between Table, Kanban, Gantt Chart, Timeline, Calendar, and Workload view
    • Accountability: assign responsibility for tasks and workflows to individuals, multiple team members, or whole teams
    • Digital forms: do away with manual forms and enjoy customizable online forms to capture information and automatically transfer it to your dashboards
    • Progress tracking: keep track of workflow status using Status Bars, Status Updates, Progress Bars, Reports, and more
    • Updates and notifications: keep the whole team in the loop with taggable updates, checklists, Q&A sections, and customizable notifications
    • Automation recipes: automate tasks across and within boards with our library of pre-built automations or customize your own
    • Integrations: integrate with over 40+ different applications for a seamless end-to-end experience
    • Advanced reporting: track feedback and monitor workflows with our charting tools

    Now, let’s talk about the benefits:

    1. Everything is highly-visible.

    As soon as you head to a workflow in monday.com, it’s obvious what’s going on.

    Brightly-colored status bars, super-familiar symbols, and our multiple view functionalities make it a breeze to keep a handle on multiple workflows at once.

    Different views in monday.com

    2. It’s accessible to everyone.

    Designed to be intuitive, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on fancy corporate training to use monday.com. Not only is the platform super easy to understand, we’ve got a whole world of free resources to help learners get going.

    3. It makes collaboration easy.

    monday.com is created with teams in mind. That’s why every aspect of your dashboard — from status updates to document sharing to automated notifications — is designed to keep those who need to know, in the know.

    Real-time collaboration in monday.com

    4. It’s easy to identify (and eliminate) bottlenecks.

    Because monday.com is designed for visibility, it’s quick to see what’s clogging up your workflows. Thanks to automated notifications and highly-visible progress-tracking, you’ll see a bottleneck before it becomes a crisis.

    5. It keeps workflows on track.

    Intelligent, automatic routing keeps tasks flowing through your workflows so everything stays on track, meets deadlines, and reaches exactly who it needs to when it needs to.

    6. It improves efficiency.

    monday.com’s Automation Recipes cut out menial admin so your team can focus their energy on the work that really counts. Likewise, thanks to a long list of integrations, you can reduce friction in your workflows so processes slide along seamlessly.

    To get rolling with monday.com’s kickass workflow software before you even mess around with reading the alternatives, you can start with our project tracker template.

    2. Pipefy

    Pipefy is a workflow management solution that uses the Kanban framework. Users can assign tasks and move them along customizable pipelines.

    You can create task cards, assign them to team members, and fill out the details for each stage.

    You can view these tasks as a Kanban board or in list-view, but, since there’s no timeline option, Gantt Charts and Timeline/Calendar views aren’t available.

    You’ll notice the checklist option is quite handy for creating sub-tasks in your cards and that you can write updates in the comments as tasks progress. However, there’s no other way to communicate with team members besides tagging them in task cards.

    Pipefy does support some process automation, but the variety is pretty limited. Unlike monday.com, you can’t create your own automated processes, you have to choose from the short list Pipefy gives you.

    3. Wrike - for advanced users

    Wrike is a project management tool that offers an all-round solution for creating and managing project workflows.

    While Wrike does give you the option of both Kanban view and Gantt Chart view, the standard List View is a bit confusing if you’re working with lots of workflows at once.

    To navigate to your workflows in Wrike, you have to head to the right project, sort through the folders, and search for the right task.

    Wrike’s quite good for automating workflows, which is a plus. But, it’s really not beginner-friendly.

    Anyone without prior experience with workflow automation software is going to need intense training. The training is so in-depth, in fact, that Wrike has to deploy a specialized training team to onboard new customers.

    Unlike monday.com, for instance, which is so user-friendly that 2,193 Capterra reviewers have given us a 4.6 out of 5 for ease-of-use. Wrke gets a 4.0 out of 5. Just saying.

    I mean, look at this app!

    4. Asana - for ongoing projects

    Asana is a task management software that mostly suits ongoing projects.

    It’s easy to build projects out and view them as a list on the calendar. No Gantt or Kanban, unfortunately.

    While it’s straightforward to assign tasks to individuals, you can’t assign to multiple individuals or whole teams. This is a bit annoying if you want more than one person to work on the same task at once.

    Each project has a special page where you can view its progress, but tasks only have the option to be marked as ‘incomplete’ or ‘complete’. This means it’s not always clear how far along each stage of the workflow is.

    Asana has limited automations so that users can automate recurring tasks, but only if you’re paying for the two pricier packages.

    5. KiSSFLOW - for workflow automation

    Kissflow is a workflow automation tool designed for automating all kinds of workflows.

    Designed solely for business process automation, KiSSFLOW isn’t ideal for teams looking to collaborate on projects. For example, there’s no deadline functionalities or scheduling tools. There’s no status tracking or task updates.

    Essentially, Kissflow exists for passing tasks from A to B, without human intervention.

    Kissflow integrates with a good variety of tools but is missing some of the top CRMs, like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Zoho.

    Be aware that Kissflow isn’t really a tool for beginners. If you’ve got tech-shy workers on your team, they might struggle with this software.

    6. Trello - the beginner’s workflow tool

    Trello is another project management tool that uses the Kanban framework.

    Trello is great for quick onboarding and easy to get a handle on. You can create cards, assign them to team members, affix deadlines, and move them through the customized pipeline.

    View your tasks in Kanban and Calendar mode, but as there are no timeline functionalities, you won’t get access to Gantt Charts here.

    Trello’s Butler feature allows teams to automate simple recurring tasks and create one-click buttons that perform many functions. Unlike monday.com, however, you can only automate tasks on one board.

    7. hygger - to prioritize easily

    hygger workflow software based on helping teams to prioritize tasks in the workflow that will provide the most impact for the least effort.

    Though predominantly designed for a Kanban framework, hygger offers multiple other views including Scrum, Timeline, Task Lists Views, and a Value/Effort Matrix view.

    Users can track task status, create dependence, and organize workflows into horizontal ‘Swimlanes’.

    While it tops for visual project management, it seriously falls down on process automation. To put it plainly, there is none.

    Equally, the list of integrations is a little sparse, making it tricky to create frictionless workflows that connect your whole end-to-end process.

    In this sense, it’s more a tool for managing the admin of workflows, rather than the actual workflows.

    In conclusion (ish)... How does monday.com increase workflow efficiency?

    Instead of getting bogged down in the minutiae, workflow management software should make everyone’s life easier.

    monday.com automates recurring activities, notifications, and task movement to streamline your workflow and keep everyone on track.

    Here’s how…

    1. We cut out repetitive tasks

    Do you find yourself repeating the same tasks all the time?

    “Right, it’s that time of the month again. Better remind everyone that invoices are due.”

    How much time must you waste doing the same thing over and over again? Definitely enough for an extra coffee break or two.

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    automate recurring tasks monday.com

    Using the Automation Recipes, you can set repetitive tasks to execute on their own.

    For example, you could automatically:

    • Clear out all completed tasks every few months
    • Add a new Sprint group to your board when it’s time for a new Sprint
    • Notify approvers when a task hits the approval stage of the workflow
    • Add a call to a team member’s workflow at the beginning of each week
    • Set reminders to notify relevant team members about recurring events

    Make a list of the menial tasks you find yourself doing regularly. You’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll save.

    2. We enable you to take control of deadlines

    Effective workflows should stamp out lateness and that’s precisely what monday.com’s Automation Recipes do.

    Automate scheduling workflows monday.com

    Here a few ways you can use Automation Recipes to keep workflows on track:

    • If a task’s not completed and the deadline’s gets closer, notify task owners that their work is about to be late
    • If a stage of the workflow isn’t complete and the deadline’s coming up, notify the team at the next stage that deliverables might be late
    • If the due date arrives and the work’s not done, change the status of the stage to ‘late’
    • When certain dates arrive, move jobs from Sprint Backlog group to the current Sprint group

    Automate scheduling and stay punctual by creating business rules that execute certain actions as deadlines loom.

    3. We provide the framework for an automated workflow

    Automated routing is the key to sleek workflows that run on their own.

    Automation recipes monday.com

    When there are lots of people working on the sub-tasks or a task, they don’t always notice when all the jobs are done. This means the item might sit in the pipeline without ever moving forward.

    Luckily, monday.com makes it easy to automatically route items or notify team members when all the sub-tasks are complete.

    monday.com workflow automation recipes

    You can also automatically route items through groups and boards as they’re assigned, as statuses change, and as certain dates arrive.

    So for example, you may have a lead capture board to collate and qualify leads. Once leads are marked as ‘qualified’ they head to a sales board to move through a salesperson’s workflow.

    4. We help you keep everyone in the loop

    monday.com is hot on collaboration — teamwork is our jam. That’s why we’ve designed workflow automations that make sure everyone’s on the right page.

    monday.com automatic notifications

    You can automate notifications to reach out to your teams when dates arrive, statuses change, workloads pile up, and more.

    For example, say there are too many incoming design requests, an automated notification could tell HR to subcontract some jobs out.

    Alternatively, once a salesperson has marked all their leads as ‘contacted’, an automated notification could tell a manager to send more.

    In (actual) conclusion

    Your workflow solution should make your team’s life easier.

    Look for a workflow tool that works for you and avoid tools that need you to plugin in lots of complex formulae. After all, we’re far beyond Excel.

    If it’s still not obvious, we’ll put it plainly. When it comes to workflow software, monday.com leads the way.

    Not only is our workflow management system highly visible and extremely intuitive, our library of automations cuts out repetitive tasks and grooms your workflow into a sleek-running operation.

    If you haven’t tried monday.com for free yet, you’re missing out on boosting your team’s efficiency enormously. Stop making life harder for yourself, try monday.com!

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