Tips on designing workflows in your new digital workplace.
Workflows are the heart of a collaborative digital workplace. Content and notifications will help people find things out, but workflows help people get things done. Your workflows are all of the steps that take a task from start to finish. Building them into your digital workplace takes people beyond consuming your content, and provides methods to create, maintain, and collaborate around content and tasks.
Good workflows will boost engagement in your site. Great workflows will make your digital workplace part of everyone's daily routine. Your members will look for workflows whether you've created and documented them or not, so designing them in advance and accepting feedback on existing ones goes a long way. Workflows are diverse in nature. They can be simple things like asking questions of subject matter experts, or creating easy views to review and answer those same questions. They can be as complex as creating and assigning systems of tasks for repeatable projects. In any and all cases, these are things to consider.
When designing any workflow, ask who it's for. Is it an individual or a group? More importantly, do they have the necessary access in your digital workplace to take all of the actions involved? One of the pitfalls for Workplace Administrators can be designing something that requires more access than most members have. It works for you, but does it work for them?
How will you guide them through the process? Committing to training and documenting your workflows can help members adopt them, and providing guides on Pages can help people get started. Documenting workflows is often the start of a robust process knowledge base, and ensures that people have access to a how to that can also set the tone and purpose of your digital workplace.
Consider how the architecture of your digital workplace helps or hinders your workflows. You can use workflows to better acquaint members with other areas of your Igloo by taking them through specialized areas, or keep often-repeated workflows contained to particular team spaces, making them easier to reproduce using templates. For example, a Q&A workflow could be placed directly in an HR Space, and members could be directed to it through Call to Action widgets on the homepage, links in the Workplace Bookmarks, and more.
Ease of use
The goal for any workflow is for it to be as frictionless as possible. The easier they can make a task, the quicker members will adopt it. Small efficiencies matter, especially for things members are called to do often. It's worth asking how your workflows stand up to repetition. The most important resource for ensuring your workflows stand the test of time is your members. The people who use those processes day in and day out will be experts in the gaps in those processes. Incorporating feedback works to everyone's advantage, and builds a collaborative culture.
Building areas with workflows in mind can ensure that the purpose of an area is clear, and highlights the tasks members are to perform there. Designing them to address specific business challenges can also provide insight into how your digital workplace is performing.
If you have questions about the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, or ask a question in the Community area.