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What is workflow analysis? | The JotForm Blog

Workflow analysis

Workflow analysis has 3 goals:

  • To document and represent the workflows.
  • To improve an existing workflow that is problematic.
  • To optimize a smoothly operating workflow with automation.

When you start analyzing your workflows, you need to consider the business process, the data attached to it, timeframe, and frequency.


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What is workflow analysis? | The JotForm Blog

What is workflow analysis? | The JotForm Blog


Key Ideas

Workflow analysis

Workflow analysis has 3 goals:

  • To document and represent the workflows.
  • To improve an existing workflow that is problematic.
  • To optimize a smoothly operating workflow with automation.

When you start analyzing your workflows, you need to consider the business process, the data attached to it, timeframe, and frequency.

Analyzing new workflows

When you start to analyze the workflow for an existing process that hasn't been documented, your primary goal is to portray it using either multiple sticky notes or a workflow management software program.

  • Early in the workflow creation process, you will spot the gaps and inefficiencies in a workflow.
  • When the draft is sent to legal for review, ensure to assign ownership of the task to one person, then set up automated reminders for them to follow up.

Improving sticky workflows

Once you've implemented your workflow, continue to analyze your process to see how effective it is. Metics to look at:

  • How often the workflow is initiated
  • How often it's completed
  • How long it takes to perform tasks in the workflow
  • How many times tasks are rejected or returned for further review.
  • Analyze bottlenecks in your workflows.

Optimizing smooth workflows

Look at ways you can improve good processes.

To optimize the workflow, use the data you collected at the beginning about how long a task should take vs. how long it actually takes and other ways to measure success or failure.
Model new workflows with the improvements you want to make to estimate the impact of the outcome.


Zen to Done (ZTD)

It's a productivity system that teaches how to take a simple approach to improving your productivity, by encouraging you to focus on forming one productivity-boosting habit at a time. 

The Minimalist Habits of Zen to Done
  • Collect: Get ideas and to-dos out of your brain and onto a list.
  • Process: Review your list daily and decide how to act on each item.
  • Plan: Pick a few high priority items to accomplish each week and every day.
  • Do: Schedule time to accomplish your selected to-dos without interruptions.
The Collect Habit

To clear your mind and improve focus, get your ideas and to-dos out of your mind and onto a list. 

Documenting to-dos in the moment lessens the likelihood that you'll forget to do something and gives you a master list of to-dos to reference when you're trying to decide where to direct your time.

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Paradox of Choice
Paradox of Choice
It means that while increased choice allows us to achieve objectively better results, it also leads to greater anxiety, indecision, paralysis, and dissatisfaction.
Overthinking lowers your performance

Our working memory is what allows us to focus on the information we need to get things done at the moment we’re doing them. It is also in limited supply. You can think of it like our brain’s computer memory. Once it’s used up, nothing more can fit in.

When you overanalyze a situation, the repetitive thoughts, anxiety, and self-doubt decrease the amount of working memory you have available to complete challenging tasks, causing your productivity to plummet.

Overthinking kills your creativity

A recent Stanford study suggests that over-thinking not only impedes our ability to perform cognitive tasks but keeps us from reaching our creative potential as well.

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Use of a Personal SWOT Analysis
Use of a Personal SWOT Analysis

Your Personal ...





... Analysis is a great tool to assess yourself in order ...

4 Steps to do your SWOT analysis
  1. List down the “strengths”. Knowing these will help you to be more confident in an interview or when looking for a job promotion.
  2. Know your “weaknesses”.  Identifying weaknesses is the best way to improve them.
  3. Find matching “opportunities”. Opportunities come in different shapes and forms. Sometimes opportunities past by you without you even noticing them.
  4. Be aware of “threats”. Identify competition, new technologies, personal traits or obstacles.
What makes you stand out? "Strengths"
  • What are the professional qualifications/certifications you have?
  • Can your expertise in some area make a difference to the organization?
  • What projects/campaigns have you completed successfully?
  • Do you have powerful industry contacts?
  • What other skills make you stand out from the rest?

What do others think as your strengths?

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Automation Is Here

Automation has a huge potential to change the nature of work, freeing up workers from tedious, repetitive, and precision work. Automation is a transformational change for owners, employees and...

Aim High

A thorough reassessment is required of how the company operates and how best to capture the impact of automation.

Companies who have just automated on the surface have had small and limited results that don't last. Companies that have understood and deployed the high-risk, high-reward proposition have completely transformed it's business offerings and have become market leaders. They have also redeployed the freed up workforce and provided additional services, even turning their competitors into customers.

Commit and Communicate

A joint effort of commitment and communication is essential for a thorough approach to automation and has to be led by top management.

Apart from IT, all stakeholder groups like HR, Operations, Business Units have to be engaged, and communicate consistently.

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Reactionary Work

Reactionary work is the stuff that we do out of a reaction, like picking a phone because it is ringingChecking email, replying to a text message, is all reactionary work. It is...

Planning Work

Planning work is time spent on listing, prioritizing and scheduling your work. 

Planning helps us become efficient in our execution. Thus, allocating special time for planning work is crucial. Proactive planning can be exceptionally productive and beneficial in the long run.

Procedural Work

It is the stuff we have to do, like writing a check to pay our bills, preparing our tax returns, or even making a daily report.

Procedural work is best tackled by technology: automation minimizes the time spent and errors generated in any procedural work.

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Rethinking the 8-hour workday
Rethinking the 8-hour workday

Knowledge workers aren't factory workers. There is no direct correlation between how much time they spend on the job and their output.

For knowledge workers, the 8-hour workday doesn’t make s...

Quality vs Quantity of Time

The structure of most working environments punishes people for efficiency and rewards them for looking busy. We need to shift our focus from the number of hours spent on something to the quality generated.

Build the Right Environment

To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.

  • Behavior is the result of environment. If you have many apps open, you’ll be more likely to be distracted.
  • Eliminate the need for willpower. Think of willpower like a bank balance. For every decision you make, you spend a unit. Design the right environment, so you avoid depleting all of your willpower.

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Decision Making in Theory
  • Good decision making starts with getting the facts;
  • It's followed by analyzing the facts;
  • Then you make the decision;
  • And finally, you impl...
Decision Making in Practice
  • Most of the time, you don’t start with facts. You start with opinions. 
  • Data gathering and analysis and deciding what to do, and doing it all overlap. 
  • Analyzing the situation is still really, really, really important. Asking lots of good questions is the key to getting good analysis and good results.
10 great questions for decision making
  • What’s the story of the problem?
  • Why do we want to solve the problem?
  • What do we know for sure?
  • What are we assuming?
  • What don’t we know?
  • What’s a similar situation?
  • What happens if we do nothing?
  • What’s the goal?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • What’s the first step?
Consider Your Constraints

"In the business world, decisions need to be made in a certain time with a certain budget. Remember your work is not about being perfect, but providing the best insight yo...

Take Small Steps

"Find what is the smallest and most important thing to work on, get feedback, and keep iterating. Focus on who is impacted by your work and engaged them often. It's a journey." - Alan Trivedi, Trivedi Coaching & Consulting Group

Define And Visualize Success

"Reflect and visualize what success looks like. What are you trying to solve for? Jot it down on paper and compare your work objectively to this success criteria. Work with a trusted colleague if it helps bring clarity." - Christie Lindor, The MECE Muse

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