The best way to ensure your project is moving efficiently toward its goal, without missing a beat, is keeping the entire process entirely transparent. How can you make that happen? Employ an excellent workflow management product that provides real-time insight while integrating seamlessly with your existing management products and processes.
What Are Workflow Tools?
Any project can be broken down into a finite series of processes that must be identified, employed, and verified in a logical order to achieve the desired product or service. Processes can involve communication, documentation, productions, etc. Workflow tools collect and organize these processes and automate them into one overarching system designed to give you a real-time picture of how the project is proceeding.
Workflow tools are dynamic, and adaptable according to the changing needs of the project. The best tools can compile accurate reports to give you the most accurate insight into the various aspects of your project.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best:
- Project Workflow Management Tools
- Simple Process Management Tools
- Business Process Management (BPM) Tools
Best Workflow Management Tools
Project Workflow Management
Filestage is a unique workflow management platform that allows team members to collaborate on digital content entirely online. No installation is necessary, and clients can provide feedback without the need to register an account.
Designed with the creative team in mind, Filestage is the perfect choice for marketing agencies, corporate marketing teams, and collaborative content creators of all kinds. As you share content online, collaborators can provide visual feedback and comments directly to the target product.
Filestage keeps a record of all product versions and comments, and it goes where you go, no matter if you’re working on a PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Accelo is a cloud-based operations automation system that allows team members to collaborate in one place from project start to finish. With this system, you can integrate with a myriad of other platforms to include Microsoft Office, PayPal, Quickbooks, Airtable, and many others.
Use Accelo to sync your email and calendars so that you can keep tabs on all client work in one central location. Other features include the ability to convert quotes into projects, tracking timesheets for full visibility into employee production, and service and retainers to maintain high process quality.
Work management platform, Asana, is a comprehensive system that allows team members to track goals, tasks, projects, in a highly organized fashion. Through Asana’s colorful visual organization design, with just a quick glance, all team members can see exactly what each person is tasked with when those tasks are due, what the big goals are, and a well-defined path on how to achieve those goals. The timeline feature allows clear visibility into how projects are progressing towards the end goal. Project managers can organize various projects the way they see fit and prioritize tasks within each project.
Avaza is a comprehensive project management solution that allows all team members to collaborate on projects and tasks together. Tasks can be assigned with precise detail to include due date, assignee, status, completion date, description, and fields to add followers, tags, attachments, and comments.
Available views within Avaza include Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and lists, where the progress of each project can be tracked via percentage complete. Integrate Google Drive and Dropbox files to keep real-time document changes up to date across all users, and sync with your calendar so that you can see what tasks are due when anywhere.
Clarizen is an incredibly robust enterprise work collaboration system utilizing all the best features of social media to allow team members to maximize productivity and communication. Create projects using Clarizen provided templates, or create one of your own. New projects or tasks can even be created via email or via the smartphone app.
The Clarizen roadmap enables you to plan, review and issue status reports on current projects. All financial data is automatically tracked by individual project exported into any reporting system you prefer. Each team member has their own dashboard where they can collaborate with others.
Wrike is a visually centered collaborative work management solution based on the concept of streamlining work through the process of reacting, organizing, scaling, and optimizing. Wrike uses three kinds of folder conventions to help you organize multiple projects, assets, and tasks.
Use folders for any category you choose to create, whether they be organized by client, department, product, or a combination of several. Once you’ve created your overarching folders, you can create project folders and task folders within each project.
Another social networking style platform is bpm’online. This workflow management solution inspires users to manage all aspects of their business, not just individual projects. Collaborators can span departments across the company so that everyone stays in the communication loop in real time, and can adapt to changes on the fly.
The dynamic nature of this platform allows team members to manage leads, sales, and accounting in real time. Users can drill down on operations with precision to focus on what’s important at the moment. Bpm’online can be launched via a cloud-based platform and an on-premise deployment option.
Designed with the creative team in mind inMotionNow is a workflow management software platform that makes process evolution seamless and straightforward. Functions include task and time management, reporting, analytics, review, and approval.
InMotionNow integrates with your favorite file sharing apps to include Google Drive, Dropbox, ShareFile, etc. Users have a no trouble adapting to this intuitive, user-friendly platform, making onboarding of new users painless. Approval of processes becomes quicker, creative improvements happen at higher speeds, and the time from project start to completion is much shorter thanks to the straightforward design of inMotionNow software.
Jira is a robust workflow management platform designed with the developer in mind. Each new project starts with a simple board with features to activate as you go.
Jira visualizes projects around boards that are used to manage projects, break them down into smaller work items, and assign them to team members. Users can view each project via swim lanes where task status updates in real time. This software integrates with common file sharing apps such as Dropbox, and engineers can drop code snippets directly into task windows to share with other users. Users can modify any task assigned to them as needed.
Monday is a straightforward workflow management tool for users that want a simple way to track how things get done. Based primarily on a Kanban board style display, users can configure task boards for assigning tasks, checking progress, viewing hours worked and designating due dates.
Monday focuses more on the journey of the process and less on extra features such as robust reporting or complex file sharing. Third party integration is limited, but it does work well with other management apps such as Jira, Asana, Quickbooks and other. View work in multiple styles including Gantt charts, lists, Kanban boards, and geographical maps.
Productive is designed with the small agency in mind that needs robust capability. Software development companies, consultants, design firms, advertising agencies, are all examples of the client intended for Productive. This software doesn’t just focus on workflow management. It provides built-in capabilities for sales pipeline visualization, resource planning, project management, timesheet tracking, invoicing, profitability forecasting, and reporting.
Productive generates robust porting automatically, and it fully integrates into tools such as QuickBooks, Xero, Zapier, calendar apps, and other. Productive is a way for smaller business track their operations from a high level down to a detailed view without the needless overhead and external apps.
Designed specifically for the creative industry, Workamajig enables team members to develop new opportunities, create and manage new projects, and analyze project reports all in one easy-to-use platform. Transition opportunities into projects as they are approved. Then let Workamajig create a schedule, identify needed resources, and project timeline. Track budget and schedules as the project progresses and set up alerts whenever required.
Within each project, you can use Workamajig to identify users best suited for various tasks, project future revenue based on project progress, and manage individual creative tasks assigned to specific users. Workamajig is web-based, so you can work from any device.
Workfront operates on the concepts of connect, optimize, and adapt to completely integrate all bpm functions for a variety of industries to include IT, Marketing, Consulting Agencies, Product Development, and Professional Services.
Workfront connects users by focusing on centralized projects that require collaboration across different teams or departments anytime, anywhere. Content can be managed, refined, and updated in one central location. To optimize operations, Workfront helps prioritize work assignments and streamline processes, while providing real-time reporting.
Workfront integrates with a variety of other tools so that you don’t have to constantly toggle between tools to get the job done.
Getflow is a straightforward project management tool in a customizable format. Use lists or cards to organize tasks within projects in kanban workflow style. Then use timelines to plan your operations to make the most out of your schedules.
Tasks are fully customizable with subtasks, notes, comment fields, advanced options, start and end dates, and more. Each user dashboard allows team members to collaborate in real time, and stay abreast of changes across different platforms. Projects can be kept public or private, and they can be archived, duplicated, repeated or exported.
Available integration includes Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Slack, and Harvest. Getflow offers a robust Rest API for full tool integration.
WorkflowMAX is a comprehensive project management suite that puts the user in control of project visualization, task creation, sales operations, time tracking, invoicing, insight analysis, and reporting. Manage leads, transform them into projects, track progress, and collaborate across teams with this software. WorkflowMax is designed for use by a variety of industries including creative agencies, IT consultants, building and construction, engineers and surveyors, architects, business consultants and many more.
WorkflowMax is fully integrated with a considerable variety of software to include Xero, ZenDesk, Box, Deputy, Better Scheduling, Plan Right, Adobe, Dropbox and many others.
Intervals workflow management focuses on the tasks at hand and the time spent to get the job done. Intervals goes to work when a project is created, and a manager is assigned. From there you can define tasks, create a project budget, and set a deadline. Team members can use the platform document storage to work on files together dynamically.
The timer view allows managers to analyze time spent on individual tasks by various team members, see where time is most spent to maximize efficiency, and generate progress reports. The dashboard view will provide a high-level outlook on the progress of all projects at any given time.
Nifty allows you to communicate as much or as little as you need to thanks to its user-friendly team collaboration tools. This software is designed around the roadmap, which provides a visual picture of all project milestones and deadlines. From there, drill down into the team workspace to work on tasks collectively, and update status whenever needed. This group environment removes the need for more traditional, slower modes of communication. Users have full visibility on the status of tasks without having track other users down. Docs can be created within the app, and files can be imported and edited on the fly.
ProWorkflow is a highly capable app that can be used by industries across the board. Start with a high-level picture of the project workload. From there, use a variety of features to get the most out of your workflow management to include timeline for reviewing and scheduling tasks, mobile work on the go, collaboration between team members, clients, and partners, timesheet tracking, API for added customization, contact management, templates, reporting, invoicing, , messaging, quotes, robust integration and much more.
ProWorkflow offers widgets, time trackers, adobe extension app, and other apps available in the App Store to extend program functionality.
Built specifically for marketing and creative teams, Workgroups DaVinci offers one-stop shopping for workflow automation and project management. This robust software toolkit allows for team collaboration on any product from signage, to websites, to brochures, or any other creative design. As each project progresses, users can get a detailed view of what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done.
Team leads can review and approve tasks and projects on the fly, and resources are readily accessible using the digital asset catalog. While managing content, financial assets can be managed as well to make sure projects finish on time and on budget.
Simple Process Management (small to medium-sized businesses)
ProcessStreet is a free utility that specializes in simple workflow management. Use it to create process templates for recurring workflow items, then use multiple templates to manage many projects at once. Users can collaborate on single items in real time.
Because of its simplicity, learning ProcessStreet is easy, getting you up and running in minutes. Workflows appear in the form of checklists that can be crossed off as completed, while users utilize the dashboard to stay abreast of all status changes. ProcessStreet uses Zapier integration to connect with over 1,000 other apps.
ProcessMaker is an enterprise solution for fully automated workflow management. This capable software platform, named the Aragon Research 2018 Hot Vendor, enables each user to take advantage of its robust capabilities to delve deep into the most complicated projects.
Industries that are perfect for ProcessMaker include manufacturing, tech and telecom, healthcare, finance and insurance, education, and much more. Whether your projects consist of end goals that result in products or services, ProcessMaker allows you and your team to define parameters, build workflow models, identify deadlines, and streamline complicated processes, all while providing integration and comprehensive reporting.
ProcessPlan is a user-friendly workflow management app that adapts to your company’s needs no matter if you’re working with three employees or three hundred. Status of various projects and process are always on view, so you always know where your projects stand. Moreover, a robust template and resource library makes starting new projects and adding items easy and quick.
ProcessPlan can be accessed from any device including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It also integrates with a variety of tools to include Slack, Zapier, Microsoft SQL Server, HubSpot, ConnectWise, Zendesk, Microsoft Office, Amazon Web Services and more.
Comindware workflow software offers a wide variety of workflow management solutions to suit the smallest and biggest companies across a range of industries. Total transparency in any business process is possible with Comindware’s robust management solution. Get as complicated as you need to, or go simple with this flexible solution.
Functions include document workflow, approval workflow, HR workflow, CapEx approval workflow, order processing workflow, IT service workflow, Claims workflow, Financial, workflow, and much more. The interface provides a graphical workflow builder, electronic forms design, workflow automation, outlook tool, full integration with other tools, real-time team collaboration, and a whole host of other functions.
MetaTask is a simple, user-friendly task management system that allows you to define templates and use them repeatedly for recurring workflows. If the work is simple, there’s no need for complicated models. Just set any process you need into a template, publish them to all team members to access, and check the status of all active processes, see who’s working on what and when, and review pertinent data and files all in one location.
Features include process templates, approval workflows, process editor, dynamic task assignment, data forms, user selection form field, form fields for all data types, processes dashboard, and more.
Every item is on one dashboard with the easy to use KiSSFLOW automated workflow creation system. Drag and drop different workflow apps within this cloud-based system to create the apps you need for your business, whether they be employee onboarding, vacation requests, purchase requests, etc.
Choose from one of the 50+ pre-made apps, or create and customize your apps. Just drag and drop the fields you want and leave the ones you don’t need. KiSSFLOW integrates with a variety of tools including G Suite, Office 365, and thousands of others via easy to use APIs.
Another easy to use app maker similar to KiSSFLOW is ZOHO Creator. Take advantage of over fifty prebuilt apps within ZOHO or build your own to manage an array of processes such as sales, logistics, accounting, distribution, recruitment, time off, events, etc.
Building your own apps is easy to do with ZOHO’s drag and drop interface. Also, Deluge, the scripting language can be used to add detailed workflows. Access any app via laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Customize your apps as you see fit and integrate them with other tools such as Quickbooks, G-Suite, Paypal, Zapier, and more.
Pipefy is la ean project management software that enables you to streamline business using predefined templates or ones you’ve designed yourself. Templates make processes such as sales pipeline, agile software development, team task management, business contract analysis, design thinking, to name just a very few.
Templates center around the worlds of IT and software, marketing and sales, operations, and human resources. By using templates your team has a standard operating procedure to follow no matter what they’re working on. This minimizes mistakes and improves efficiency. The ability to see in realtime how processes are moving along allows the identification of bottlenecks, improve speed, and reduce cost.
Tallyfy is a user-friendly workflow software package that brings all processes and communication to one place. Keep forms, collaborations, task lists, and processes centralized so that every user can access what they need when they need, while automatically updating other users on their actions or progress.
The need for traditional email and many physical forms is eliminated with the use of Tallyfy. Templates can be created and reused as needed, especially for repetitive processes such as onboarding, vacation requests, product development, and more. Actions and items become standardized so that time is not wasted on mundane details.
Gluu is a user-friendly workflow management tool that allows process owners to create templates for standard and repeated processes. It helps employees, process owners, and management seamlessly collaborate to get the job done, whether it be a service-based process or product production.
Employees can access Gluu in a variety of ways including a smartphone or tablet (in addition to your browser on your laptop). Accessing Gluu means obtaining a real-time picture of tasks that need to be done, SOPs to follow, and issues that need to be resolved. Process owners can watch process performance as it happens, and communicate work all in one flow.
WorkflowGen is the workflow management platform that prides itself in being low-code but highly configurable. With it, you can design one of a kind forms and templates unique to your business needs. Using WorkflowGen’s GraphQL API, webhooks, and Node.js integration you can customize this app as much as you need to, opening up limitless project management possibilities.
Designed for industries of all kinds, you can focus on processes in a graphical workflow design that spells out each step to be taken clearly. A full feature customer portal allows you to intake new requests immediately and begin work on them right away.
FunctionFox is all about making project management a simple, easy-to-handle process. Using this intuitive software, assigning tasks, scheduling milestones, tracking progress, and updating status is all items that take just seconds to complete.
Configure data using workable assignment lists, calendars of due dates, and collaborative workspaces. Reporting mechanisms within FunctionFox are robust and can be as high level or as drilled down as you need them to be. Additional features include alerts, time and expense tracking, contact books, mobile apps, project blogs, timelines with milestones, custom fields, and other customization.
Formstack is an intelligent online form maker designed for integration with other robust project management apps. Popular features within this form builder are add-ons, conditional logic, and payment processors. With the form builder, you’ll find Section 508 compliant forms, drag and drop usability, a form importer function, a variety of themes and CSS, subdomains, ability to save and resume, and forms that are responsive to any environment.
With Formstack’s data analytics function you can perform A/B testing, create advanced PDFs, leverage key insights, use the open API to create custom form integration, validate fields, upload files, field bottlenecks, and more.
With a unique purpose of seamlessly connecting all of your apps, Zapier fills a much-needed role in today’s collaborative business environment. Zapier allows you to integrate apps by linking them together to share data with just a few steps. Data transfer becomes automated as it passes between two or more apps via “Zaps”. Without an ounce of code, you can innovate more quickly by using zaps to build processes faster.
You can trigger a zap into motion in any app. You don’t need to monitor the action; it will continue as you move on to more important things.
Smartsheet operates on the reality that business environments suffer from the problem of “too much communication and too little action.” This software uses dynamic workflow management to bring an idea to impact in less time than traditional methods.
Smartsheet is meant for everyone. It’s straightforward to configure and use, and requires no technical help to get started. Once each team member is up and running, they will have real-time visibility into work execution. Managers and stakeholders can plan and track automated processes and report on work all in one place.
Airtable is a flexible workflow management app that presents process data in a myriad of ways. Use the form view to create new forms and view existing ones. Try calendar to see critical due dates and project lifespans. Use the Kanban view to see individual tasks, check their status, and provide input and edits. Gallery view helps you organize your projects in easy to identify ways. Moreover, grid view lays out the most critical information in an easy to scan manner.
Airtable is best suited for creative teams and agencies, marketing and communications firms, and project managers.
Business Process Management (larger companies and enterprises)
One of the biggest obstacles holding development teams back is the slow-moving chain of process review and approval. BonitaSoft digitizes these traditional processes so that development can happen more quickly and efficiently. Bonita soft is the world’s leading open source business process management platform.
It can be customized to suit a variety of business applications including retail, healthcare, telecom and media, the public sector, manufacturing, energy, financial services, and education. Use BonitaSoft to streamline the customer service experience, make the application of healthcare services easier, optimize service requests and resolution, or meet the needs of the public sector in an efficient way.
Flokzu is a robust, but easy to use cloud-based business process management system that can be utilized across a variety of industries. Flokzu uses BPMN standards with a drag and drop display so you can create your cloud workflow as you see fit that’s as complicated or as simple as you need it to be. From here you can create and customize forms, execute processes, and send tasks directly to user inboxes, and measure and analyze process progress.
Other features include deadline enforcement, custom reports, databases, dynamic visibility, routing rules, integration, and email notification.
Integrify is a process builder, form creator, and workflow management tool. Build workflow charts from the ground up with no code required. You can customize workflow based on single players, group teams, or multi-team situations.
Workflow tools include form builders that are easy to use and incorporate into the workflow interface. Just drag and drop the kind of information you need to capture in a variety of layouts. Request tracking is easily done via a custom self-service portal that allows real-time collaboration across team members. All forms work across an array of mobile dividers, and built-in editors allow you to customize the tool how you want.
Signavio Workflow Accelerator
Signavio workflow accelerator streamlines traditional business processes into one usable platform for collaboration. Use Signavio for team task distribution, adopting standard operations procedures, manage workflow instead of spreadsheets and emails, automate record keeping, implement control measures, manage product lifecycle, create and customize forms, and establish a fluid BPM.
Signavio is a fully web-based workflow management platform that can integrate with Google Drive, Salesforce, and Box. Participants on a project can collaborate on a case by merely being assigned that task, or anytime they are simply mentioned in a comment.
Form.com is an enterprise solution that works in a variety of industries such as hospitality, restaurants, manufacturing, facilities management, retail, oil and gas, and more. Form.com specializes in four primary solutions: inspections, audits, forms automation, and field operations.
Trackvia is a low code workflow management platform that allows you to leave spreadsheets behind without finding yourself overwhelmed by complex software. It is robust and capable like an enterprise system but as user-friendly as simpler platforms.
Create custom workflows no matter what your processes entail using a smooth drag and drop display. Receive notifications and program next steps to initiate automatically. Data can be entered from the desk, the tablet, or the smartphone, online or offline. Trackvia integrates with other data sources and legacy systems using the API and Zapier integrations.
Nintex is an enterprise solution for process management, process automation, and process optimization. Users and project managers can plan out processes, map them in the most logical ways, and share those plans with others to inspire effective collaboration. To enable efficient workflow, custom forms can be created so that processes are streamlined and standard operating procedures are established.
Once the workflow gets going, managers and users can monitor progress, analyze outcomes, and use that data to improve future processes, all in a dynamic way, so that workflow management is constantly evolving.
LeanKit is a project and resource management platform especially designed for engineers. Workflow updates can be seen in real time across the board from any location, no matter if you’re working from a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. With the easy to use color-coded interface, everyone understands their areas of responsibility and whom to turn to depending on the question or issue that has arrived.
This enterprise level solution creates the utmost efficiency in workflow collaboration so that products and services can get out in time and under budget. As processes are repeated, efficiency is improved, and response time becomes faster.
Ninox is a group collaboration tool that works across all browsers and devices. Files can be stored locally or on the cloud, and the user interface is simple and intuitive. Ninox allows you to manage everyday tasks to that processes become automated and smooth. Work off of built-in templates such as those for contacts, meetings, events, custom CRM, invoices, and inventory, accounting, timesheets, projects, to-do lists, real estate, collections, or build your own.
Collaborate with others no matter where you are or what device you’re using. You can access the app online or download a version to your tablet via the App Store. Ninox is compatible with both Apple devices and Android.
Micro Focus Solution Business Manager
Micro Focus Solutions Business Manager (SBM) is specifically tailored towards IT and DevOps and was formerly known as Serena Business manager provides a comprehensive process management solution and workflow automation platform. Processes are identified, arranged, automated, and transparently viewed as they advance through their natural lifecycle from concept to product.
This system increases the efficiency of IT operations, is flexible in access allowing developers to stay in tune with processes no matter where they are or what device they’re using. The increased efficiency and access results in lower cost operations and value added in the areas of customer insight and feedback.
Why You Should Start Using Workflow Tools TODAY
If you’re composing more emails than working on processes, if you’re attending endless meetings that chip away at your day, or if you’re overwhelmed by confusion about who’s doing what on a particular project, than your firm could benefit from a workflow management tool. Depending on the exact needs and size of your firm, you can choose from tools that are linear and discrete, or robust and all-encompassing. Either way, a workflow management system will save you time, increase efficiency, and cut down on wasteful spending.
Are you interested in reading more about workflow management?
- Make the Most of Your Content with a Solid Content Workflow
- 7 Marketing Workflows that Will Streamline Your Marketing Efforts
- Here’s How to Create a Workflow (Incl. FREE Workflow Template & Examples)
- The Practical Process Improvement Guide: How To Improve Your Workflow (+11 Proven Examples)
- Everything You Need to Know About Business Process Management (BPM)