Workflow in Business Processes

All organizations run on processes – complex or simple, clearly defined or ambiguous, automated or by hand. Some of these processes are manual and have been that way for as long as anyone can remember. Employees often unknowingly spend hours, days and weeks annually waiting on manual approvals, written signatures and printed documents. Identifying these processes as candidates for automation offers the chance to improve efficiencies, streamline efforts and gain back lost time.

While SharePoint offers some out-of-the-box basic workflow functionality, combining SharePoint with Nintex Workflow allows organizations to leverage many powerful and sophisticated features, like a drag-and-drop designer, external system connectivity, user and email account creation and real-time workflow status. But Nintex Workflow also excels at handling small details and automating simple tasks – email notifications, reminders, task approvals and status updates.

Examples of typical business processes include:

  • Contract Approval – Certain organizational contract documents need to go through a defined approval process that could span across multiple users, departments and business units.
  • Expense Requests – Employees need a way to submit and track reimbursements for expenses incurred in conducting everyday business.
  • Employee On-Boarding – Human Resources departments facilitate the hiring process for new employees including all personal information, tax forms and background checks.
  • Procurement Tracking – A defined auditing process to track the ordering and delivery of everything from paper clips to computer equipment.
  • Paid Time Off Requests – All organizations have some type of process for employees to request personal time off for vacation, medical and personal reasons.

This month’s Tip of the Month examines the typical Paid Time Off request process. An employee starts by filling out an online request form, which can be a SharePoint, InfoPath or custom web form. Submitting the form automatically kicks off the Paid Time Off workflow. The workflow immediately sends the employee a successful form submission notification, which can be easily configured in Nintex to include a custom message and any form data (see the “Configure Action – Send notification” screen below).

WF_In_BusinessProcesses1

The employee’s manager then gets assigned an approval task that they can complete online or on a mobile device via the Nintex LazyApproval feature, which allows a user to respond to a workflow task via email with a predetermined keyword. Manager approval of the request generates an email notification to the employee and then can automatically add the request to a consolidated departmental calendar complete with data from the request form. If the manager declines the request, the employee receives a notification with any supplied comments.

Workflows are designed using the Nintex Workflow Designer palette which provides a powerful and easy to use “drag and drop” interface for building simple, moderate or complex workflows in a very efficient manner. The Paid Time Off Request workflow design is shown in the Workflow Details screenshot below.

WF_In_BusinessProcesses2

Whatever the business requirement, SharePoint combined with Nintex Workflow, streamlines operations, limits wasted time and adds confidence that processes will be completed quickly and accurately. Once Nintex Workflow is implemented in an organization, it can be leveraged throughout your entire SharePoint environment wherever workflow is needed and can be imagined.

Whatever the business requirement, SharePoint combined with Nintex Workflow, streamlines operations, limits wasted time and adds confidence that processes will be completed quickly and accurately. Once Nintex Workflow is implemented in an organization, it can be leveraged throughout your entire SharePoint environment wherever workflow is needed and can be imagined.

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