How to ensure your business process is always followed

Have your employees ever skipped a document review step? Have your products ever gone out the door without being tested? Businesses design processes to prevent events like these occurring.

A business process consists of a series of steps resulting in a desired outcome. The benefit of formalizing and writing down the process is that it can be repeated to obtain consistent results.

The driving forces behind many business processes are checks and balances. For example, when developing a new feature for a software system, it is important that the feature is reviewed and tested before becoming part of the product. If either review or testing is skipped, the quality of the software product may be adversely affected.

Important processes of your business should always be written down in a form readily available to the people who need to follow them. At the very least this could take the form of a set of documents kept in a common location. These documents don't have to be long and unwieldy, in fact they should be short and easy to read.

Enforce business processes with software

Better than just keeping documents that can be ignored is enforcing your process through software. If the software ensures that every stage of the process is followed, you reduce the chance that something will go wrong.

TaskTrakz allows you to enforce your business processes through customized workflow. This divides tasks into a series of states, and allows you to define the progression through those states.

For example, a simplified software development process may be:

  1. Create a task for the feature
  2. Write feature code
  3. Test feature
  4. Done

Generally the task progresses through the steps in order. One exception is that if the tests fail, you need to go back and write some more code before testing again. In a state diagram the workflow looks like this:

A simple software development workflow

Notice that as long as the workflow is followed, the feature can never move from writing code to done without the testing being completed.

TaskTrakz allows you to set up this, or any other process, as your custom workflow - thereafter all tasks must follow each step in the workflow.

The TaskTrakz workflow customization screen

As an added benefit, dashboard widgets can be set up to show all tasks in a particular state. For example, the quality assurance manager could set up their dashboard to show all tasks currently in the testing state. This would ensure that the quality assurance manager is always aware of all features requiring testing at the moment.

TaskTrakz is the project management system that can help you to enforce your business processes. Get your free 14 day trial here.