Workflow Diagram: Simplifying Document Processes
About this course
This course walks you through the key steps required for visualizing document workflows in airSlate. You'll learn how to create a visual layout for your document processes and decide how each step should be completed, by whom, and in what sequence.
By the end of this course, you'll be equipped with all the knowledge necessary for enhancing your document workflows' transparency, accuracy, and visibility.
What will you learn?
Who is this course for?
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How to bring a workflow diagram to life
Workflow diagrams are used in many industries, such as development, management, e-commerce, education, medicine, and much more. Let's look at what these diagrams are, their benefits, and what makes them multifunctional.
What is a workflow diagram?
A workflow diagram is the visual representation of a business-related process. It helps to visualize tasks and their flow between multiple people, teams, or software.
What does the workflow diagram look like?
Diagrams are often confused with flowcharts. While both lead the reader through distinct steps and are used to portray a process, they still have their differences. A flowchart visually breaks a problem or task into a sequential order or step-by-step approach to simplify decision-making. Workflow diagrams are a visual overview of business processes that show the movement of functions, activities, or resources between individuals or teams.
Diagrams often use flowchart symbols like ovals to represent start or end points, rectangles for single tasks or activities, parallelograms for inputs or outputs, diamonds for decisions, and lines illustrating relationships between shapes. Some businesses may use other figures or icons of objects or products. The one thing diagrams have in common is a linear structure. They must be sequential and ordered – each step must have a unique predecessor and successor. Any disconnected actions or tasks reveal you have problems to solve without any delays.
Reasons to create a workflow diagram
At a high level, diagrams lead to transparent and trackable work processes. Teams can streamline processes when they understand what, when, and by whom tasks must be done. As a result, organizations reduce errors and boost efficiency.
However, there are some other benefits of workflow diagrams that include:
- Improved workflows. Creating charts provides insight into your processes. You can identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your everyday routines and strengthen your company's productivity.
- Enhanced collaboration. When tasks and processes are transparent, team members know who is responsible for each task or role and can communicate and collaborate with greater clarity and ease.
- Increased profits. Efficient workflows save time, money, and resources. And streamlined processes boost ROI for teams and companies.
- Comprehensible codification. Codified processes help employees deliver sustainable work and results. For example, you can speed up onboarding for new employees and create scalable processes for growing teams.
- Delight clients. Easily provide customers with features, services, or goods. When the sales process is smooth and streamlined, the higher their customer satisfaction level is.
How to create a workflow diagram
Follow the guidelines below to create a business process workflow diagram:
- Analyze one of your workflows. Take a look at how your employees complete tasks, which order they follow, and who is responsible for decision-making. Consider drawing your first scheme to visualize the current process. Mark all the steps that may be redundant, unnecessary, or overly complicated.
- Indicate terminal points. Be sure to understand and note where your process begins and ends.
- Draw a new process. Add tasks, steps, and simple activities to your chart. You’ll find the right balance between too many small actions or details and critical tasks or big decisions to include in your diagram.
- Identify inputs and outputs. Every step requires resources for processing, from information to third-party services or materials. Make sure to represent key players and stakeholders for each stage.
- Review for issues. Try to anticipate possible mistakes or errors and what to do in those situations.
- Test your draft. Ask a skilled employee to check the diagram or have a small team test the workflow. Implement any feedback and work the new scheme into the business.
How to make a workflow chart work
Now that you've drawn a diagram, how do you use it to transform work processes? What if we told you there's a service that empowers you to quickly create a chart with any number of steps and leverage specialized robots to execute and bring it to life? With airSlate, you can easily automate and streamline business processes!
Enroll in the airSlate Academy courses and learn how to build automated business processes, discover efficient workflow diagram examples, generate interactive documents, and use software robots – all without writing a single line of code or hiring programmers. Start improving your business today with the airSlate Academy!
Questions & answers
What is a workflow diagram?
A workflow diagram (also known as a chart) is a step-by-step visual representation of a business process. It is used to visualize the flow of different tasks, involved resources, and required actions within a particular procedure. Usually, it is created using images and symbols that make it universal and understandable for a broad audience.
Where can I create a workflow diagram?
You can find many services that enable you to combine various shapes into a diagram. You can try Lucidchart, Visio, Draw.io, Gliffy, which allow you to simply draw flowcharts. To implement these schemes into your work, however, you'll have to utilize other software. If you want to create a chart that will be ready to use, consider using airSlate and its professional Flow builder.
How do you diagram a workflow process?
The best way to diagram a workflow process is to draw it with all the required steps and variations on paper and then build a flowchart of the process in airSlate. This service enables you to upload or create documents and forms needed for data collection and add steps and branches to your process that will be automated. To learn more about building automated workflows using diagrams, check out the related course the airSlate Academy. Click Enroll at the top of the page and discover the most efficient way to deal with document-related tasks.
What are the 3 types of process flow diagrams?
Actually, there are many types of process flow diagrams. Take a look at four of the most commonly used ones below:
- Process charts – flow of a particular procedure;
- Workflow diagrams – flow of documents and data;
- Swimlane flowcharts – interactions of separate departments, employees, or processes;
- Data flowcharts – processing of data.
What is the best workflow diagram software?
There is a number of software that are worth your attention. One notable example is airSlate. It enables you to build a chart with steps and brackets, add software robots that will route documents, remind employees to complete tasks, or manipulate data on its own without any inference from a human. Learn more about airSlate capabilities with the specialized course by the airSlate Academy. Click Enroll and discover the world of business process automation now!
What does a workflow diagram look like?
It's a composition of symbols that represent the flow of data, tasks, and resources between multiple employees or departments. Usually, they include ovals to define the start and the end of a procedure, rectangles to show steps, diamonds to demonstrate decisions, and arrows to indicate direction. In advanced workflows, you can also find specialized symbols describing documents, data, merging, inputs, outputs, etc.
How do you make a workflow diagram work in airSlate?
In airSlate, you have the ability to guide recipients through filling out multiple documents based on the actions they take and data they submit in each document. You begin by uploading or creating all the forms that need to be completed within a workflow. Then, you build a diagram to indicate general steps and how they and each document are connected to one another. However, that's not all you can do the with the robust solution. It is a business process automation solution, so you can add Bots that will route documents, analyze information, and complete many other actions for you.
Why are workflow diagrams beneficial?
Using workflow diagrams is beneficial for many reasons, but primarily for the ability they give you to streamline business operations. They accelerates the entire process, eliminates redundant activities, and optimizes the number of resources required to complete tasks. Additionally, correctly built workflow diagrams improve communication between different employees or teams and help you avoid bottlenecks or delays.
What is the difference between a workflow diagram and a flowchart?
A workflow diagram is broader than a flowchart. A flowchart is a sequence of steps that serve as a visual representation of one particular process. A workflow diagram, on the other hand, can include entire groups of processes handled by different individuals and teams and visually represents the flow of information, tasks, and resources in complex workflows.
What are the basic components of any workflow diagram?
Any diagram must include actions and resources. Additionally, you can indicate decisions that must be made (answerable with a simple “yes” or “no”), persons responsible for each particular action, and the time required for completing a task.