A classic writing dictum, asking who, what, when, where, and why can help you brainstorm a solid document workflow. Ask yourself these questions, and maybe put them in flowchart form:
- Who needs access to documents within the organization? How can you balance those permissions with the security of sensitive information? Will there be notifications to remind relevant stakeholders?
- What types of documents fit within the workflow?
- When will a new document enter the workflow, and how long should it take for a document to move through it?
- Where will you store documents, and how will you organize that system? Will you use metadata, version control, or other methods of digital document control?
- Why will you take these steps with these specific documents?
Say you have a sales contract template. The sales team needs access control to these contracts, which can include different variants and versions. The contracts enter the workflow when a sales team member needs one for a potential sale, so it must be accessible anywhere. If you store the documents in Adobe Document Cloud, the sales lead can maintain access control while giving the sales team easy access. They can create contracts quickly while the sales iron is hot.
While it might seem obvious, clarifying the process with a document workflow (perhaps in a document) helps make sure that everyone is on the same page without the need for time-wasting bureaucratic methods. Plus, documenting it all helps develop KPIs (key performance indicators) that measure the progress of your process automation.