Workflow Modeling and Automation
In our blog post “Setting Up a Cloud-Based Quality Management System” we mentioned the first step: define and map your processes. In this article, we would like to outline this step a little further. We will discuss the importance of a workflow, visualizing these workflows with flowcharts, engaging the employees when creating them, and how automation can free up your time as a quality manager.
Importance of a Workflow Within a QMS
It is vital to document the processes with a workflow attached. A workflow is an automated process that guides you through each stage in your product development lifecycle. It provides a clear path for every team member involved. A workflow enables you to create a detailed plan for any product or service. You can use it to automate repetitive tasks and make sure they are done correctly. Making the processes a part of your quality management system helps to get insights and improve the overall quality of the organization.
Workflow Visualization With Flow Charts
Flow charts are used to visualize a workflow. They help you understand what happens at every stage of the process. This makes it easier for everyone to follow the process. When using a flow chart, think about the following:
- What does the flowchart represent?
- How many steps do you need?
- Is there anything missing from the flowchart?
- Do all the activities have their own place on the flowchart?
Engage Employees When Creating a Workflow
When designing a workflow, it’s important to involve your employees in the design process. Ask them if they want to be included in the process creation. If not, then ask them what they think should happen instead. Involving your employees gives them ownership of the process and encourages them to feel more responsible for its success.
Free Up Time With Automated Workflows
You don’t have to check daily; with automated workflows, problems will arise through notifications. With the right tool like a cloud-based quality management platform, you can trigger alerts when necessary. Get notified on filled-in forms, issue reports, etc. This creates more time to improve processes and workflows and ultimately the quality.