If you are looking for tips and best practices that will help you implement a new workflow, or enhance an existing one, you have just found them.
The OpenText Content Server Workflow module is a powerful tool for automating and monitoring business processes. It provides a number of features and options that can be used to develop an infinite number of user-friendly custom workflows and streamline common business processes, such as HR new hire onboarding, sales order processing, work order processing, travel and expense reporting, employee performance appraisals, and many more.
10 Tips for Successful OpenText Content Server Workflow Implementation Steps
We have put together ten simple best practice points, which are recommended by OpenText, and which you need to know about, in order to create future-proof and convenient workflows your users will love:
1. Start small
Start with a small, simple process that will be used by a limited number of people and keep working on it until it works perfectly. Try to understand and illustrate the current business process as detailed as possible. Next, choose a medium, yet fundamental, process that is used by a few more people and on a regular basis, and optimize that workflow. Finally, choose a larger, more complex process. By the time this larger, more complex process is automated, both the elements and the process of the Content Server workflow and its users should be well established.
2. Conduct an as-is analysis
The first step in finding any solution is to understand the problem. This aspect should be seen as the most important step in the process. Without sufficient clarity of the business requirements, it is unlikely that the solution will really solve the problem. In order to understand the current state, business processes have to be broken down into recognizable individual parts, which can ultimately be assigned to functions in the software. Once the participants (users), packages (materials) and the path (route) for a particular business process have been identified, this information can be applied to the design of the workflow map and associated processes.
3. Standardize business processes
The Content Server workflow module is best used for structuring, standardizing, and automating processes that are repeatable and critical to the business. The biggest value is achieved when using Content Server to automate cross functional processes where traditional manual processes are slow, error-prone, lack visibility or traceability, and suffer the inefficiencies of departmental communication. Where it’s possible, try to standardize current business processes.
4. Identify the workflow participants
Participants, or, if you prefer, users, refer to the people or entities who take steps or make decisions as part of the business process. These can be managers, team leaders, decision-makers. Participants can be specifically defined as individuals, groups or as a functional role. However, it is recommended that you work with groups of users rather than individual users. After all, the goal of creating workflows is to standardize business processes and automate manual error-prone steps. The participants are not only performers of the process, but also include people who manage or monitor the process. Participants can also be other systems to which you want to send data or from which you want to receive data, for example, SAP, Salesforce, or others.
5. Identify resource packages
Ressource packages are supporting or related materials that are part of the business process, such as documents, metadata items, electronic forms, and comments. The term package refers to the data or material that is passed, reviewed, and stored as part of the business process.
6. Go mobileIt seems obvious, but a lot of customers still do not utilize the full potential of mobile access. One of the biggest advantages of OpenText Content Server is the ability to support the mobile workforce with access to important information anywhere, at any time: their home office, on the road, the office, or at the customer. In terms of effective workflow implementation, it can be very time-saving if decision makers can access an approval workflow through their mobile device. However, we recommend being careful with enhancements. Do not expect your team to make too many changes at once. The goal is usable and effective workflows that meaningfully help the team.
7. Identity workflow path
Path refers to the route that the resource packages take as part of the workflow process. Paths in processes are dynamic in nature and are determined by data values or decisions by workflow participants.
8. Consider reporting and notification optionsIdentifying where reporting and/or notification is required as part of the workflow process is an important aspect of workflow design in that it is the monitoring mechanism for the process. Look into shipping Live Reports, custom Live Reports, Web Reports, Notification and Process and Step email notifications.
9. Visualize the workflow with a diagram
Creating a diagramm is the next best practise in the process of creating a future-proof OpenText Content Server Workflow. It involves creating a visual representation of the process using preferred tools, such as a simple whiteboard or electronic applications suitable for editing such as Microsoft Visio. Whenever possible, every point of view needs to be considered, from the end user doing the work, to the decision makers, to the people who manage the WF and the business process. If the resulting workflow and associated processes are not suitable, users will not use it. Use the information you have gathered so far to determine which functions you will need to complete the work at hand.
10. Consider WF proxy and data collection/distribution
Can your project be completed with the tools that are immediately available, or are additional functions or modules required? Example: HTML or Web Forms, E-Sign for digital signatures, E-Forms for using the extended form functions XML Workflow Interchange (XML WFIC) for the transfer of XML data to other systems. At this point, it can be helpful to tabulate or map which steps and WF elements are helpful to meet various business needs. If additional modules are required, this should also be considered.
Ecodocx is geared with data and content experts to help you at any phase of your next OpenText project. Having worked in this industry for more than two decades and delivered 600+ projects, we worked out a secure and comprehensive way to help organizations implement and customize OpenText products. If you are interested in learning more about Content Server Workflows, Content Suite, or how OpenText Content Server solutions can align with your business roadmap, please contact us. We welcome all questions and comments!