Workflow Management Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: September 24, 2023
Managing complex project workflows can be a challenge for any business, particularly those that lack standardization in their processes. Without a centralized platform to streamline processes and improve collaboration, teams can become bogged down with repetitive and inefficient tasks. This can lead to inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and delays in project delivery, which in turn can lead to increased costs, missed deadlines, and a decline in overall productivity.
Workflow management software can help overcome these challenges by establishing efficient and repeatable processes for getting work done. It provides a structured framework that can help increase productivity, reduce errors, and improve collaboration among team members.
In this buyer's guide, we will provide you with essential information to help you subscribe to the right workflow project management software for your organization. We will take a detailed look at some of the key features to look for and considerations to keep in mind, as well as provide you with a list of top-rated software solutions that have been thoroughly researched and evaluated.
Here's what you will find inside:
What Is Workflow Project Management Software?
Workflow management software is a digital solution that enables organizations to streamline their business processes and automate day-to-day tasks. It provides a detailed and specific approach to managing tasks, outlining the exact sequence of steps required to complete a project or task efficiently. The software is designed to create efficient and repeatable workflows, ensuring that tasks are completed in a consistent and timely manner while utilizing resources effectively.
With workflow management tools, teams can optimize their processes, improve productivity, reduce errors, and increase overall efficiency. It's a powerful tool that can help businesses automate and manage complex business processes, including task assignments, approvals, and communication between team members.
Is Workflow Management Software Different From Generic Project Management Tools?
Workflow management software and generic project management tools may seem similar, but they serve different purposes.
Project management programs are designed to cover a broad range of tasks and processes, from task scheduling to milestone tracking to reporting and analytics. On the other hand, standalone workflow management systems focus specifically on streamlining the exact sequence of steps required to complete a task or project. They are designed to create efficient and repeatable ways to move work forward.
We will dive deeper into the specific functionalities of workflow management tools in our Features section below to give you a better understanding of how these tools can help organizations optimize their efficiency and reduce the chances of errors in their daily operations.
Why Do Teams Need Dedicated Workflow Management Software?
Efficient workflow management is critical to the success of any team. Without a dedicated software system in place, teams risk getting bogged down by manual processes and miscommunication.
In this section, we will highlight the benefits of implementing dedicated workflow management tools and how they can benefit teams in various industries.
1. Reduce Errors
Workflow management software minimizes human error by automating routine tasks and standardizing processes. It identifies errors and their exact location, allowing for prompt correction and prevention of similar mistakes. This also enhances the quality of work and saves time and resources.
2. Improve Communication
Effective communication is critical to successful teamwork and workflow management systems can facilitate communication by providing a centralized platform for team members to collaborate on tasks and projects. With real-time updates, notifications, and messaging features, these tools help users stay connected and on top of work progress.
3. Eliminate Micromanagement
Workflow management solution creates a seamless workflow by standardizing tasks, which empowers employees to work independently without constant supervision. It automates task assignment and progress tracking, freeing up managers to focus on higher-level tasks and reducing the need for micromanagement. This leads to a more efficient, productive, and less stressful workplace environment.
4. Reduce Costs
This technology helps companies reduce costs by automating routine tasks and standardizing processes. It makes the workflow system more accessible to entire teams, minimizing the need to rely on outside support or information. As a result, businesses can save money on training, support services, and other overhead costs associated with managing manual workflows.
5. Identify Bottlenecks
Workflow project management software solutions enable teams to identify and address bottlenecks in processes quickly and efficiently. With real-time analytics data at their fingertips, users can pinpoint areas for improvement and make quick adjustments when challenges arise.
6. Increase Productivity
These workflow automation tools automate routine tasks, eliminate redundancies, and streamline day-to-day processes, enabling teams to work more efficiently. By freeing up time and resources, teams can prioritize higher-value activities that increase productivity, improve job satisfaction, and drive business growth.
7. Reinforce Accountability
Standalone workflow management apps can help reinforce accountability by providing clear visibility into task ownership, progress, and deadlines. These tools offer features such as task tracking, reminders, and notifications to ensure everyone on the team knows what is expected of them and when.
8. Enhance Transparency
Project managers can easily gain complete visibility into the status of projects and tasks using workflow management tools. With real-time data and analytics at their disposal, they can make informed decisions and adjust workflows accordingly. This enhances visibility and ultimately drives success for the project and the team.
Common Features Needed In Workflow Management Tools
When it comes to workflow project management tools, it is crucial to look for specific features that align with your organization's needs. Different software vendors offer different functionalities, and choosing the right one can greatly impact your team's productivity and efficiency.
In this section, we will outline the most important features that should be considered when selecting a workflow management tool.
How To Decide Which Workflow Management Tool Is Best For You?
We have made the decision-making process easier for companies with our simple five-point criteria listed below.
What you need to do:
- Put a tick against these basic workflow project management software design benchmarks.
- Shortlist your top five contenders; test them individually or collectively.
We have also compiled a list of top workflow systems in this buyer’s guide that can help you get started with your analysis.
See the checklist below and remember that the application with the most checks wins (our recommendation for you to go ahead with to the next stage; with the steps listed below the following list).
Project Management Software Evaluation List
- Does the software work with your business size/user headcount?
- What is its required level of tech expertise (only built for technical professionals)?
- Is it easy to integrate/connect with other tools?
- Does it fit your budget (expensive or cost-effective)?
- Is it accessible (easy or difficult for non-technical users to get started with)?
Next, you need to shortlist one workflow management platform. Visit its product profile page – use our search bar above – to book a demo or get pricing (accurate, updated, custom plan figures for your organization) so you can get subscribed quickly.
Workflow Management Software Pricing
Workflow management software pricing can vary depending on the specific needs of the business. Most software providers offer different pricing models, such as monthly or annual subscription plans or a one-time purchase fee. Additionally, some providers offer tiered pricing based on the number of users or the level of functionality required.
The pricing for these tools typically falls in this range:
$10 per month per user to $100 per month
However, some software providers offer customized pricing plans based on specific needs and requirements, which can be negotiated with the vendor. It is important to carefully evaluate the features and capabilities needed for your business and compare pricing plans from different vendors to find the most cost-effective option.
For more pricing information, download our comprehensive project management pricing guide 2023.
Best Workflow Project Management Software: Our Top 5 Picks!
Looking for the perfect workflow management software can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. With so many options out there, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But don't worry; we are here to help!
We have done the research and narrowed it down to the top 5 picks for you. So let's dive in and find the best workflow software for your needs!
1. monday.com Software
monday.com is a powerful workflow management tool used by businesses of all sizes and industries. The software simplifies complex workflows by providing structure and transparency, allowing teams to focus on completing tasks efficiently. Its highly customizable platform allows users to create and manage tasks, add required steps, and view workflows in various formats, including lists, calendars, Kanban boards, and Gantt charts.
Overall, monday.com is easy to use and comes preloaded with one of dozens of workflow templates, which makes this Work OS a valuable resource for both small businesses and enterprise organizations.
- Free: $0 for up to two seats
- Basic: $8/seat/month
- Standard: $10/seat/month
- Pro: $16/seat/month
- Enterprise: Contact us at (661) 384-7070 to confirm pricing
- Workflow Templates: Quickly set up and streamline workflows for different processes with ready-made templates, which help save time and effort in the management of repetitive tasks
- Data Visualization: Gain insights into workflow performance through visually appealing charts, graphs, and timelines, making it easier to track progress, identify bottlenecks, and adjust accordingly
- Workflow Automation: Automate routine tasks and reduce manual errors by setting rules to trigger notifications, move tasks, and perform other actions based on specific conditions
- Integrations: Seamlessly connect monday.com with other tools and apps you use, such as G Suite, Jira, Slack, and Trello to enable better collaboration and workflow management across multiple platforms
Pros And Cons
|Highly customizable and flexible workflow management capabilities||Steep learning curve for some customization options|
|Comprehensive workflow template library|
|Provides detailed analytics and reporting on workflow progress|
2. Wrike Software
Wrike is a versatile workflow management software suitable for teams of all sizes. It enables managers to tailor workflows, dashboards, and request forms to suit their unique needs. Users can easily visualize priorities using Kanban boards, interactive Gantt charts, and traditional timelines. The software also generates insightful KPI reports, facilitates resource management and allocation, and supports a range of teams, including marketing and professional service teams.
What's more, Wrike's fully visible workflows and customized, dynamic reports remove the need for constant status check-ins, saving teams valuable time and effort.
- Free: $0/user/month
- Team: $9.80/user/month
- Business: $24.80/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing (Contact us to get a pricing quote tailored to your company)
- Pinnacle: Custom Pricing (Contact us to get a pricing quote tailored to your company)
- AI Work Intelligence: Utilize AI Work Intelligence to automate repetitive tasks, optimize project timelines and increase productivity
- Workload Management: Manage your team's workload effectively to optimize resource allocation, prevent overbooking, and ensure timely delivery of projects
- Multiple Views: Visualize your priorities in a way that suits you with the Interactive Workflow View, which includes various views such Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and timeline
- Pre-Built Templates: Simplify complex processes and save time by using Wrike's templates, which are designed to streamline workflow management and provide consistency across projects
Pros And Cons
|Customizable workflow modeling||Steep learning curve for new users|
|User-friendly interface and intuitive navigation|
|Robust document management tools|
3. Smartsheet Software
Smartsheet is a flexible workflow management software that enables teams to plan, capture, and manage workflows from anywhere. Its advanced reporting tools provide real-time visibility into work progress, while automation capabilities simplify data gathering and analysis. With editable summary reports and a Critical Path feature, managers can easily keep an eye on important milestones.
Moreover, the platform's automation capabilities enable users to gather data across multiple workflows and spaces without needing to write complex formulas.
- Free: $0/user/month
- Pro: $7/user/month
- Business: $25/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing (Contact us to get a pricing quote tailored to your organization)
- Automation And Notifications: Automate tasks, send reminders, and trigger drip campaigns to streamline workflows and reduce manual effort
- Reporting And Insights: Get real-time visibility into project progress, identify bottlenecks, and recognize top-performing team members to optimize workflows
- No-Code Solutions: Create customized workflows without coding skills, enabling teams to focus on tasks instead of technical details
- Rules-Based Access: Set access controls based on roles and responsibilities to maintain security and ensure compliance throughout the workflow management process
Pros And Cons
|No-code workflow automations|
|Enables task assignment
4. Airtable Software
Airtable is a low-code workflow management platform that empowers users to gain a bird's-eye view of their entire process, identifying inefficiencies and roadblocks that hinder productivity. The software provides an intuitive Flowchart app that transforms complex workflows into easily understood diagrams and provides a clear overview of each step required to complete a process.
In addition, Airtable offers simple access to information and reporting, facilitating collaboration with external stakeholders.
- Free: $0/user/month
- Plus: $10/seat/month
- Pro: $20/seat/month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing (Contact us to confirm pricing)
- Customizable Forms: Streamline information-gathering with customizable forms that can be imported directly into the system
- Project Views: Empower stakeholders to view information in Kanban, grid, calendar, or gallery views and create filters that optimize efficiency
- Project Dashboards: Visualize planned, in-progress, and completed projects, and gain insights into all sorts of metrics
- Integrations: Seamlessly integrate Airtable with the tools your team is already using, for a streamlined workflow management experience
Pros And Cons
|User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop features||Not ideal for complex or multi-step workflows
that require extensive process mapping
|Customizable project workflows|
|Robust team collaboration tools|
5. ClickUp Software
ClickUp is a comprehensive workflow management software that has gained popularity among teams worldwide. With its visually appealing and intuitive interface, the application streamlines workflows and project plans while managing resourcing across teams. It offers a range of customizable views, including lists, boards, timelines, and calendars, enabling users to track progress and manage tasks in a way that suits them best.
The software provides users with a range of automation templates that can be customized to fit specific workflows. Additionally, the ClickUp Whiteboard feature allows users to build, link, assign tasks, and leave comments in their workflow, making collaboration easier and more efficient.
- Free Forever: $0/user/month
- Unlimited: $5/user/month
- Business: $12/user/month
- Business Plus: $19/user/month
- Enterprise: Custom Pricing (contact us to confirm pricing)
- Task Templates: Use pre-designed templates for commonly repeated tasks and reduce the time taken to manage those tasks
- Workflow Automation: Automate repetitive tasks like reminders for due dates, status updates, etc. and eliminate manual intervention
- Dependencies: Use the flowchart template and set task dependencies to ensure proper task sequencing, and avoid delays
- Custom Task Statuses: Customize task statuses to reflect the progress of the workflow, get better visibility and improve efficiency
Pros And Cons
|Easy to use and intuitive interface||Occasional bugs and glitches|
|Flexible task views and customizations|
|Integration with other tools|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a workflow management example?
IT bug tracking is one workflow management example in software development. This workflow involves identifying and reporting software defects or issues, assigning them to a developer or team, tracking progress, testing fixes, and verifying that the issue has been resolved.
What are the three types of workflows?
The three types of workflows are sequential workflows, state machine workflows, and rules-driven workflows. Sequential workflows involve a linear set of steps, where each step is completed before moving on to the next. State machine workflows involve a set of states and transitions between those states, with each state representing a specific stage in the process. Rules-driven workflows are controlled by a set of pre-defined rules and conditions, which dictate the sequence and outcome of each step in the workflow.
What is a workflow in project management?
A workflow in project management refers to a series of interdependent steps or activities required to complete a project or task. It outlines the process from the beginning to the end of a project, including who is responsible for each task, the timelines, and dependencies. By having a well-defined workflow, project managers can ensure that projects are completed efficiently, on time, and within budget.
Why use workflow software?
Workflow management software can be used to automate, optimize and oversee business workflows. It provides a centralized platform to design, manage and track workflows, enabling teams to collaborate seamlessly and improve productivity. With workflow management software, businesses can streamline complex processes, such as approvals, document routing, and task assignment. It also allows users to set up rules, triggers, and notifications to automate routine tasks and ensure that deadlines are met.
How do I choose a workflow software?
When choosing a workflow software, it's essential to consider your organization's unique needs, such as the type and complexity of workflows required, team size, budget, and integration requirements. Evaluate software options based on features like ease of use, scalability, customization options, reporting capabilities, and security measures. Additionally, consider the vendor's reputation, customer support, and user reviews.
Workflow management software can revolutionize the way organizations manage their tasks, projects, and processes.
When evaluating potential solutions, it's crucial to consider factors such as customization options, user-friendliness, and reporting capabilities to ensure that the software aligns with your specific requirements.
We understand that selecting the right tool for your organization can be a daunting task, and that's why we are here to help. Our team of experts is committed to providing you with personalized assistance in navigating the intricate process of selecting the best workflow project management software.
Schedule a free consultation with us at (661) 384-7070 to learn more about workflow management solutions and get personalized recommendations based on your unique needs.