Workflow analysis is one of the crucial analysis required to understand the granular level of the activities involved in the process. This helps us to break-down the process into a set number of activities or tasks to understand the tools that are used in performing the task or activity. Work flow analysis when done appropriately helps the business to understand the NVA (Non-Value Add) activities. Understanding the NVA helps the business to spend less time on that activity or task thereby achieving the Lean.
The ultimate need to do the workflow analysis is to improve the process Quality, Time, Productivity. Any business that wants to improve the quality can do a workflow analysis to understand the activity or task where the quality needs to improved to bring down the defect or bugs or errors caused by human intervention or any other application which may not required to be involved. Workflow analysis can be used to reduce time in the process by understanding the time taken to perform and activity or task by involving the simple automation to execute an activity or task; or bring the effort time which is not necessary to perform the activity or task. Productivity is also one of important milestone that can be achieved by doing the workflow analysis which helps to focus on the time taken to achieve a deliverable with a required quality.
A successful workflow can only be reliable and achievable by involving all the stakeholders involved to understand all the information required to accomplish and activity or task. Any miss in gathering the adequate or accurate information leads to improper workflow analysis which may lead to inaccurate business decision or approvals being denied at the process or product owner level.
Analyzing the information involved in the workflow is crucial to come to conclusion of the unnecessary effort that is involved and unnecessary time take to achieve and activity or task. This also helps the business take a decision if an automation is right approach to be involved to achieve the goal only after the proper analysis. Any consequences they by will impact the business operations due an inaccurate analysis.
As-Is & To-Be
An accurate workflow can be achieved by drafting and As-Is flow of the process to determine the time, effort, resources and activities involved. An honest As-Is is pre-cursor to a viable and reliable To-Be. The business can decide on the alterations to be made in their work flow or automations that are necessary or unnecessary in the To-Be phase by doing an apt As-Is.
Workflow Analysis Tools
There are several tools that are available to draft the workflow of the processes or businesses. There is a conventional Visio that helps to draft a workflow and there are also BPMN tools like iGrafx, Alfresco, etc., which helps the businesses to perform the workflow analysis based on their budget constraints and requirements.
Workflow Analysis is used in all the disciplines like healthcare, Banking, Information & Technology, Pharma, Operations, Manufacturing, etc., Therefore it is imperative to involve the right approach and tool to perform the proper workflow analysis that helps business to take better decisions.