How to Design an Effective Process Workflow

This blog is part of a series on “Process Documentation”. As each blog is released, its title will become an active link. 

  1. Process Documentation -  an introduction
  2. The importance of documenting key processes
  3. Benefits of process documentation
  4. Understanding the 3 Ps
  5. What is a policy?
  6. What is a process?
  7. What is a procedure?
  8. How to design an effective process workflow
  9. How to implement your process workflow
  10. Quick steps for creating process documentation


A workflow comprises a set of sequential steps that your organization follows to complete a process. Workflows can show which tasks are in a process, when each task gets completed, and who is responsible for them. A workflow can be fully automated, partially automated, or entirely manual. Optimizing your workflows allows you to streamline your processes and improve overall performance and efficiency by minimizing errors, eliminating bottlenecks, and strengthening collaboration. 

Here are the key steps you can follow to design an effective workflow: 

1. Outline your process objectives. 

2. Define a logical flow for the process. 

  • Involve key stakeholders and create a workflow that is easy to follow and is practical for your organization. Simple and linear processes are easier to define. But if your workflow involves a non-linear process, design it in a way that captures the key decision points and allows you to return to any previous steps seamlessly without causing bottlenecks. 
  • Identify the tasks in each process.  
  • Determine which tasks require a sub-workflow. 

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3. Create a workflow diagram to map out the process and visually represent the key stages in a task. This should be added to your process documentation later. 

4. Implement automation wherever needed – automation is useful for eliminating manual involvement in repetitive tasks.  

  • Here’s a representative and simple example: Add an email button in a request form to send a notification email to the approver. 

Once you design your workflow, you can determine the best ways to implement the process in your organization. Read my next blog to learn more on this topic. 

About the Author

Surya Nair

Technical Writer and Editor<br><br>Surya has been writing and editing technical content for over two decades in multiple industries. How do you transform complex technical content into an easy-to-understand document? Ask Surya - technical writing is her passion! She has been with ASCENT since 2018. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature, and a diploma in Journalism, and is a certified Technical Writer.

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How to Implement Your Process Workflow
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Process Documentation - What is a Procedure?
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