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It’s not uncommon to hear “workflow” and “process” used interchangeably in the workplace. But did you know they’re actually two different terms with unique purposes? That’s right, workflow and process actually refer to distinct business terms. Let’s take a look at the relationship between workflows vs. business processes.
What is a Workflow?
Let’s start by defining what a workflow is. Workflow is a sequence of simple steps to reach a specific business goal. In simpler terms, a workflow automation software automates and streamlines repetitive tasks that are completed in a specific sequence every time. Typically, a workflow is created to visualize and orchestrate the connected stages of a process that can be performed in parallel or sequentially depending on specific rules or decisions.
Workflows constitute a model for how employees should be completing their tasks. That means that every person in the company follows the exact same steps to complete their tasks.
A solid, well-defined workflow allows data and tasks to flow through an organization. This enables employees to understand clearly their duties and managers identify bottlenecks and improvement opportunities. Generally, by automating workflows, you can save time and money that would otherwise be spent on repetitive, manual processes and tasks.
What is a Business Process?
So, what exactly is a business process then?
A business process refers to a set of activities or tasks, often connected and automated, triggered by an event to carry out a predetermined specific operational goal. Each activity (e.g., a task), included in a process, is assigned to a team member or to an entire department.
Every organization should define its processes, analyze and measure the results to ensure that the process is meeting expectations and is getting improved.
There are three main categories of business processes:
Management processes that plan and control any operational process
Supportive processes that support operational processes
Many businesses streamline processes through the use of Business Process Management (BPM) software. This tool allows businesses to solve large-scale problems. With a BPM software, they manage and automate their processes to operate smoothly, increase productivity and accuracy.
Workflow vs. Business Process
With such similar roles in a company, it’s easy to understand why workflows and processes may be used interchangeably. However, while they are quite similar, there are key differences that make the terms stand apart. Read on to learn the relationship between business process vs workflow below.
To fully understand the differences between these two terms, it’s important to know how they relate. Both workflows and processes clarify how work gets done and how the business runs. In essence, a business process is composed of multiple interconnected workflows. A workflow is a set of steps used to accomplish a given goal, and a business process is a group of these workflows together used to complete a business operation.
Despite this connection, there are a few distinct differences between workflows vs. processes. These differences include:
When creating workflows, the sequence of steps is the primary consideration. On the other hand, processes, take into account the workflows, people, and data involved.
The purpose of a process is to complete a larger business goal. The purpose of a workflow, on the other hand, is to provide the tool and mechanism to accomplish this business goal.
Processes tend to be more flexible and are always being improved upon as the company grows and changes. Workflows tend to be more specific and detailed with less flexibility as to how a sequence of tasks is completed.
Processes can occur without designated workflows, but workflows are created with the intent to assist a process.
Though the relationship between these two terms can seem a bit confusing, implementing them in your workplace doesn’t have to be. Keep reading to learn how to automate your workflows and business processes.
Automating Workflows and Business Processes
With BPM software comes the ease of streamlining and automating both workflows and business processes.
To start, you’ll have the opportunity to design and implement your workflow patterns to automate those tedious, repetitive tasks that often take up too much time. Through the No-Code environment of this software you can map out your workflows so your team can best complete these tasks using role-based rules. In this way, collaboration is easier than ever before. You can share information, store data, and receive accurate reports right in your business process.
Improve Your Business Operations with Comidor
At Comidor, we’re ready to help you tackle this technologically advancing world and keep up with competitors using state-of-the-art software. Using Comidor’s BPM 2.0 Workflow Designer, you create and automate your processes in one convenient location. With this software, you can:
Design and simulate a workflow to ensure the highest level of optimization before fully implementing.
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