How do you Write a Workflow?

Laura Parker
Jun 2024

Having clear, well-documented workflows is crucial for maintaining efficiency, reducing errors, and improving overall service delivery. However, many businesses struggle with the task of documenting their processes effectively. This often results in workflows that gather dust, remaining unused and unreferenced.

The solution lies in not just documenting processes but integrating them into the daily operations of the business. This is where tools like beSlick’s workflow software come in handy. With its user-friendly platform, beSlick allows businesses to document their workflows as dynamic flowcharts that can be executed as workflows, ensuring tasks are properly assigned and tracked. This article will guide you through the process of writing out workflows, creating workflow documents in Word and Excel, and detailing workflow procedures with workflow examples to illustrate best practices.

How do you Write a Workflow?

How to write out a workflow

Writing out a workflow involves several key steps to ensure the process is clear, comprehensive, and easy to follow. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you document your workflow process effectively:

  • Identify the Tasks: Start by listing all the tasks that need to be completed. Be thorough in this step to ensure no task is overlooked.
  • Sequence the Tasks: Arrange the tasks in the order they need to be completed. This helps in creating a logical flow and identifying dependencies between tasks.
  • Assign Responsibilities: Determine who will be responsible for each task. This ensures accountability and clarity within the team.
  • Use Workflow Templates: Utilize workflow templates to streamline the documentation process. Templates provide a structured format, making it easier to document and standardize workflows. Check out beSlick’s workflow templates!
  • Document the Workflow Process: Clearly outline each step of the workflow in detail. Use simple language and be as specific as possible to avoid any ambiguity.
  • Review and Revise: Once the workflow is documented, review it with the team to ensure accuracy and completeness. Make any necessary revisions based on feedback.

By following these steps, you can create a well-documented workflow that enhances efficiency and reduces the likelihood of errors. Using tools like beSlick’s workflow software can further simplify this process, allowing for easy updates and tracking of deviations from the standard workflow.

How to create a workflow document in Word

Creating a workflow document in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process thanks to its versatile features. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a workflow in Word and utilize the tools available in Microsoft Office to enhance your workflow documentation:

  • Open a New Document: Start by opening Microsoft Word and creating a new blank document.
  • Insert Shapes: Use the ‘Shapes’ feature to draw flowcharts. You can find this option under the ‘Insert’ tab. Shapes like rectangles for tasks and diamonds for decision points can help visualize the workflow.
  • Add Text Boxes: To provide detailed descriptions of each step, use text boxes. This can be done by selecting ‘Text Box’ from the ‘Insert’ tab. Place these boxes near the shapes to describe what each step entails.
  • Use SmartArt: Microsoft Word’s SmartArt feature is particularly useful for creating workflows. Under the ‘Insert’ tab, select ‘SmartArt,’ then choose ‘Process’ from the gallery. This provides a structured template that can be customized to fit your workflow.
  • Link Shapes with Arrows: To show the sequence of tasks, use arrows to connect the shapes. This can be done by selecting the ‘Arrow’ shape from the ‘Shapes’ menu under the ‘Insert’ tab.
  • Format and Style: Customize the look of your workflow using the formatting options available in Word. Change colors, fonts, and styles to make the document more visually appealing and easier to understand.
  • Save and Share: Once your workflow is complete, save the document in an accessible location. You can also share it with your team via email or a shared drive for feedback and further refinement.

While Microsoft Word provides useful tools for creating and formatting workflow documents, it lacks advanced features such as task execution and deviation tracking. This is where workflow software like beSlick stands out, offering capabilities to not only document but also execute workflows, assign tasks, and track any deviations from the standard process. These features ensure that workflows are actively used and updated in real-time, rather than gathering dust.

Using these features in Microsoft Word, you can create detailed and visually appealing workflow documents that are easy to understand and share. However, leveraging the capabilities of workflow software can significantly enhance your workflow documentation process by adding execution and tracking functionalities.

How to create a workflow in Excel

Creating a workflow in Excel can be highly effective due to its robust data management and visualization capabilities. Here’s a guide on how to create a workflow in Excel:

  • Open a New Spreadsheet: Start by opening Microsoft Excel and creating a new blank spreadsheet.
  • List Tasks in Columns: In the first column, list all the tasks that need to be completed. Each row will represent a different task.
  • Add Details in Adjacent Columns: Use adjacent columns to add details such as task descriptions, responsible persons, due dates, and status. This helps in keeping all relevant information in one place.
  • Use Conditional Formatting: Utilize Excel’s conditional formatting to highlight different statuses of tasks (e.g., completed, in-progress, pending). This visual aid makes it easier to track progress at a glance.
  • Insert Flowcharts: Excel has built-in tools for creating flowcharts. Under the ‘Insert’ tab, choose ‘Shapes’ to draw flowchart elements like rectangles for tasks and arrows to show the sequence of steps.
  • Create Dependencies: To show task dependencies, you can use formulas or additional columns. For example, you might have a column that indicates which task needs to be completed before another can start.
  • Visualize with Charts: Use Excel’s charting features to create visual representations of your workflow, such as Gantt charts, which can help in tracking the timeline and progress of tasks.
  • Save and Share: Save your Excel file and share it with your team for input and collaboration. Excel files can be easily shared via email or through cloud storage services.

While Excel is powerful for organizing and visualizing workflows, it lacks advanced features like task execution and deviation tracking. Workflow software, such as beSlick, addresses these limitations by allowing you to not only document workflows but also execute tasks, assign responsibilities, and track any deviations from the standard workflow. These features ensure workflows are actively managed and optimized over time.

By using Excel, you can effectively document and visualize your workflows. However, integrating workflow software can significantly enhance the process by adding execution and tracking capabilities, making your workflows more dynamic and actionable.

How do you Write a Workflow?

How do you write a workflow procedure

Writing a detailed workflow procedure is essential for ensuring that processes are carried out consistently and efficiently. Here’s how to approach workflow documentation to create clear and effective workflow procedures:

  • Define the Objective: Start by clearly defining the objective of the workflow. Understand what the end goal is and how this workflow fits into the larger business process.
  • Identify Key Steps: Break down the process into key steps. Each step should represent a significant action or decision point within the workflow.
  • Describe Each Step in Detail: For each step identified, provide a detailed description. Include the purpose of the step, who is responsible for it, the inputs required, and the expected outputs.
  • Use Clear and Simple Language: Avoid jargon and complex language. The goal is to make the procedure understandable to anyone who reads it, even those who may be new to the process.
  • Incorporate Visual Aids: Use flowcharts, diagrams, or other visual aids to complement the textual description. Visual aids can help clarify the sequence of steps and the relationships between them.
  • Review and Validate: Once the procedure is documented, review it with stakeholders and team members involved in the process. Validate the accuracy and completeness of the documentation.
  • Update Regularly: Workflow procedures should be living documents. Regularly update the workflow documentation to reflect any changes or improvements in the process. Ensure that the latest version is always accessible to all team members.
  • Leverage Workflow Software: Tools like beSlick can enhance your workflow documentation by allowing you to document procedures as flowcharts, assign tasks, and track deviations from the standard workflow. This ensures that procedures are not only documented but also actively managed and optimized.

By following these steps, you can create comprehensive workflow procedures that enhance clarity, accountability, and efficiency. Effective workflow documentation helps in maintaining consistency across processes and ensures that everyone involved is on the same page.

Streamline Your Workflow Documentation Today

Effective workflow documentation is a cornerstone of operational efficiency and consistency in any business. By following the steps outlined above, you can create comprehensive workflows in Word and Excel, and write detailed workflow procedures that ensure clarity and accountability. While traditional tools like Word and Excel are useful, they lack the task execution and deviation tracking capabilities that advanced workflow software like beSlick offers.

With beSlick, you can go beyond simple documentation. Its intuitive platform allows you to execute workflows, assign tasks, and track deviations, making it easier to keep your processes up-to-date and efficient. Don’t let your workflows gather dust—integrate them into your daily operations with beSlick and see the difference in productivity and performance.

Ready to take your workflow documentation to the next level? Explore how beSlick can transform your process management by visiting our workflow software and workflow examples pages. Start optimizing your workflows today!

Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?
Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?

, Author of The Dirty Word and CEO at beSlick

Alister Esam is a successful entrepreneur and investor, having bootstrapped his fintech software business eShare to international status operating in over 40 countries and servicing 20,000 board directors, before successfully exiting to a multibillion-dollar organisation in 2018. He now invests in a variety of startups and on a global mission to make work, work.