Process & Workflow

5 Useful Workflow Process Examples

Jan 13
Post Masthead

Remember in high school when we would be assigned a group project? The teacher would pick the groups, give you a topic and specific task with a deadline, and send you on your way.

You would meet at someone’s house or in the library after class, gossip about what’s going on in school for a good 15 minutes until someone spoke up, took charge, and assigned different parts of the project.

“Susie, you’re good at drawing. You should make the art for the poster board.”

“Kevin, we can write the article together since we love the topic.”

“Eric, you’re good at public speaking, so you can do the presentation.”

Little did we know, but this was an example of workflow processes that many companies put into practice daily to accomplish business objectives.

Team collaboration

What is a Workflow Process?

The easiest way to describe a workflow process is to break it down word by word.

A workflow is simply the most efficient way in which to complete a task.

A process, on the other hand, is the series of steps one takes to complete a task.

Though they sound pretty similar, combining the two into a “workflow process” results in something a bit more specific. A workflow process can be described as a set series of tasks that are completed based on predefined rules or conditions to execute a business outcome.

What Are the Types of Workflow Processes?

There are many different types of workflow processes that are useful depending on the project. Here are a few examples of the most commonly used workflow processes.

Sequential Workflow

Following a series of steps that depend on the completion of the previous steps before moving to the next is known as a “sequential workflow”. These steps are very specific and need to be fully completed in the order assigned to avoid mistakes.

State Machine Workflow

Rather than following a series of steps, state machine workflow focuses on progressing a larger percentage of the project at once. Basically, state machine workflow allows you to tackle a list of tasks simultaneously to move the project to the next state towards completion.

Rules-driven Workflow

Very similar to a sequential workflow, a rules-driven workflow still follows a series of steps that need to be completed, but the specifics of the project will affect the way in which they are done.

Oftentimes workflow processes incorporate rules with “If-Then Statements” and must be referenced when starting the process. For example, if some of the predetermined rules are specific to deliverables, then you’d have to adjust the workflow accordingly.

Types of workflows

5 Examples of Workflow Processes

Let’s put these into hypothetical examples to give you a better idea of what we mean.

Example 1

A sequential workflow might be the most well-known process. It’s used all the time and a simple example would be making mac-n-cheese (the boxed stuff, not your grandma’s famous recipe that’s been passed down for years).

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Add macaroni and stir for 7-8 minutes
  3. Drain water
  4. Stir in cheese
  5. Add milk/butter
  6. Scoop, serve, enjoy

If you were to add the cheese before draining the water, I can promise you the final product won’t be nearly as enjoyable.

Example 2

A more professional example is if your client were to request to have you write a blog for a new landing page. Following your pre-designed sequential workflow process, the steps might look something like this:

  1. Client fills out creative brief/request form
  2. Project manager reviews form and delegates to copywriter
  3. Copywriter completes assigned task based on brief and sends to proofreader/editor
  4. Proofreader reviews/edits accordingly and assigns back to project manager
  5. Project manager reviews and compares to creative brief and sends back to client
  6. Client reviews and publishes

That is a step by step workflow process in which everything has to be done in a specific order to ensure the work is completed correctly.

Example 3

If there was a rule that “If a client requests a blog post, then we have to include two social posts to promote it”, then the workflow process may slightly be changed into a rule-driven workflow and would look like this:

  1. Client fills out creative brief/request form
  2. Project manager reviews form and delegates to copywriter
  3. Copywriter creates social posts and sends to PM
  4. PM reviews and sends posts to client for approval
  5. Client approves and publishes and then instructs PM to move forward with blog
  6. PM instructs copywriter to write blog
  7. Copywriter completes assigned task based on brief and sends to proofreader/editor
  8. Proofreader reviews/edits accordingly and assigns back to project manager
  9. Project manager reviews and compares to creative brief and sends back to client
  10. Client reviews and publishes

Example 4

When it comes to state machine workflow processes, they are great in theory, but can’t be implemented into all projects. An example of when it could be used is if a client requests a full social campaign to promote their new software across all social media platforms, and they want you to execute all creative and copy for the campaign.

Once your team has an understanding of the project and all are on the same page, your copywriter and proofing team can get their items in motion while your graphic designer can create some design samples.

After all this, both teams can move towards another stage in the project and combine the two to give the client some samples for approval. That would show two teams working separately while still progressing the project as a whole.

Example 5

Another example of the state machine workflow process, is the example I mentioned in the intro. While Susie is drawing the poster board and Kevin is working on the article, Eric can be the one that bonds the two together and makes sure each product matches the overall goal that the team agreed on.

Though the two teams aren’t working with each other, they are still completing important stages to get everything done efficiently.

Workflow process

Why Are Workflow Processes Important?

When executed correctly, a well-put-together workflow process can significantly change the way in which a company operates. It will add a level of efficiency needed to maximize productivity.

Companies that fail to implement workflow processes where needed will experience many different challenges such as slow completion times, overlooked errors, poor quality work, and other disasters. These workflow processes separate you from your competitors who aren’t utilizing them.

How Rindle Can Help with Workflow Processes

Rindle delivers the tools needed to not only create these workflow processes, but house them alongside the projects that are in the pipeline.

With their no code interface, you can create visual workflows to automate the processes needed to efficiently complete projects. Whether you need to create sequential, state machine, or rules-driven workflows, Rindle gives you the ability to create custom processes to fit your company's needs on a per-project basis.

Visit Rindle for a free trial in becoming a more workflow process-oriented agency.