We built Wowzers internally, intending to sell it commercially.
For over twelve months, Wowzers powered Wowzers' operations and those of its parent company and sister brands.
But it wasn't to be. The Wowzers project was axed in August 2023 owing to budget constraints. The tooling continues to be maintained and used internally but will not be developed further - at least for now. We'd like to thank our beta users and everyone who contributed.
We've left our website right as it was, should you be interested in learning more about Wowzers and the underlying technology behind it.
Discover how workflows can benefit your tech startup, from increased productivity to better communication, and the best practices for designing
As a tech founder, you constantly seek new ways to streamline your business processes and improve efficiency. One way to achieve this is by implementing workflows. This article will explain what workflows are, their benefits, and how they can help you grow your tech startup.
But first, what are workflows? Workflows are a set of steps that define how work should be done. Workflows can be linear or nonlinear, simple or complex, and they can involve multiple teams and departments.
Workflows comprise three core components, a trigger, which is the event that begins the workflow; the tasks or the work involved in the workflow; and the results or outcomes produced by the workflow.
A workflow ensures everyone involved in a particular activity is on the same page. They help eliminate confusion, reduce errors, improve communication, and can be applied to a wide range of business processes, from customer service to software development, to optimise processes, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
Workflows have existed for centuries. Before the industrial revolution, individuals typically managed tasks, and there was little need for formalised processes. However, as manufacturing and production became more complex, creating more efficient ways of managing tasks and processes became necessary.
One of the pioneers of workflow management was Frederick Winslow Taylor, who developed the principles of scientific management. Taylor’s approach to workflow management focused on analysing work processes to identify inefficiencies and implementing standardised procedures to increase productivity.
Later in the 1950s and 1960s, the development of computer systems and information technology led to the emergence of workflow management systems (WfMS), allowing businesses to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
Finally, the advent of the internet and cloud computing in the early 2000s further revolutionised workflow management, making it easier for businesses to collaborate with remote teams and automate processes. Today, a wide variety of workflow management software solutions like Wowzers are available, each with unique features and capabilities.
Workflows can take many forms, each designed to address specific business needs. Here are some common types of workflows to consider implementing in your tech startup:
#1 Sequential workflow:
This type of workflow involves a series of steps completed in a specific order. This type of workflow is ideal for processes requiring a particular sequence of tasks, such as software development or content creation.
#2 Parallel workflow:
In parallel workflows, multiple tasks are completed simultaneously. This type of workflow is ideal for processes involving multiple teams or departments collaborating, such as product development and marketing teams.
#3 State-machine workflow:
State-machine workflows comprise a set of rules that determine the next step based on the current state of the process. This type of workflow is ideal for processes that involve conditional logic, such as customer service or order processing.
#4 Human-centric workflow:
This type of workflow involves tasks completed by people rather than automated processes. This type of workflow is ideal for processes that require human input or decision-making, such as hiring or employee onboarding.
#5 Rule-based workflow:
In rule-based workflows, tasks are automatically triggered based on predefined rules. This type of workflow is ideal for processes that involve repetitive tasks, such as data entry or invoicing.
While tasks, processes, and projects are all related, they are not the same thing. Let’s explore how.
Tasks are individual actions that must be completed as part of a larger project or process. For example, designing a logo or writing code. Tasks can be assigned to a specific person or team and have a deadline for completion.
On the other hand, a workflow is a series of tasks completed in a particular order to achieve a specific outcome. Workflows define the process, roles, and responsibilities for completing a project or task from start to finish. For example, a workflow for website development might include tasks like wireframing, design, coding, testing, and launch.
While tasks are essential components of a workflow, they are just one piece of the puzzle. Workflows provide a framework for completing tasks in a coordinated and efficient manner, ensuring that everyone involved understands their roles and responsibilities.
Processes are a set of activities that are performed in a particular order to achieve a specific business outcome. Processes may involve multiple workflows, tasks, and resources. For example, hiring a new employee might involve workflows for resume screening, interviewing, reference checks, and onboarding.
While processes and workflows are similar, Workflows provide a structured way to manage the tasks involved, ensuring they are completed efficiently and effectively to achieve the desired outcome.
A project is a specific initiative undertaken to achieve a particular goal or objective. Projects may involve multiple workflows, tasks, and processes. For example, building a new product might involve workflows for design, development, testing, and launch, as well as tasks such as market research, prototyping, and project management.
While projects are broader initiatives that may involve multiple workflows, workflows provide a framework for completing specific tasks within a project. Workflows ensure that each task is conducted in the correct order, with the right resources, and at the right time, helping to ensure the success of the larger project.
Implementing workflows in your tech startup can bring several benefits to your business, including:
#1 Increased efficiency:
Workflows ensure that tasks are completed in a specific order, with the right resources, and in a timely manner. This improves the efficiency of your business processes, reducing wasted time and resources.
Workflows provide a standardised process for completing tasks, ensuring the same steps are taken every time. This reduces the risk of errors and inconsistencies in your business processes.
Workflows provide visibility into the entire process, allowing stakeholders to track progress and identify areas for improvement. This increases accountability and helps your team stay on top of deadlines.
Workflows can be easily scaled to accommodate growth, allowing your business to handle an increasing volume of tasks without sacrificing efficiency. This helps you keep up with demand as your business expands.
#5 Cost savings:
Workflows help to reduce costs by streamlining processes, reducing errors, and improving productivity. This can lead to significant savings for your business over time.
#6 Improved collaboration:
Workflows can help improve collaboration between team members and departments. By providing a clear outline of each task and its dependencies, workflows can help to break down silos and improve communication.
#7 Better decision-making:
Workflows can provide data and insights to help you make better business decisions. By tracking the progress of tasks and identifying areas for improvement, workflows can help you optimise your business processes over time.
An effective workflow is critical to the success of any tech startup. Here are some tips for creating effective workflows:
#1 Define the goal:
The first step in designing an effective workflow is defining the goal or outcome you want to achieve. This will help you determine the tasks that must be completed and the order in which they must be done.
#2 Map out the process:
Once you have defined the goal, map out the tasks that must be completed to achieve it. This will help you create a visual representation of the workflow.
#3 Choose the right tools:
Many tools are available for creating and managing workflows, such as Wowzers.io. Choose the tool that best fits your startup’s needs and is easy for your team to use.
#4 Start with small workflows:
When implementing workflows for the first time, starting with small ones with a clear outcome is best. This will help you to learn the process and identify any areas that need improvement before scaling up to larger workflows.
#5 Involve all stakeholders:
Involve all stakeholders: When designing and implementing workflows, involve all stakeholders, including managers, team members, and customers. This will help to ensure everyone has a stake in the outcome and that the workflow is effective for all parties involved.
#6 Communicate the workflow:
Once you have designed your workflow following the steps above, communicate it clearly to your team. This helps ensure everyone understands the process, their roles, responsibilities, and expected outcomes. Use visual aids, such as flowcharts or diagrams, to help illustrate the workflow.
#7 Provide training and support:
Provide training and support to your team to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge they need to use the workflow effectively. This may include providing training on the workflow tool, as well as any new processes or procedures.
#8 Monitor and adjust:
Workflows should be dynamic and adaptable to the changing needs of your startup. Monitor your workflows regularly and make adjustments as necessary.
#9 Automate, automate, automate:
Look for tasks that are repetitive or time-consuming and that can be automated. These may include tasks such as data entry, file management, or email notifications.
Though implementing workflows in your tech business might sound like a no-brainer, some challenges may arise from time to time. These include:
#1 Resistance to change:
Many team members may be used to doing things a certain way and unwilling to switch to a new workflow. Communicating the benefits of workflows and involving employees in the design process is essential to ensure everyone is on board.
#2 Lack of understanding:
Team members may not see the value in workflows, leading to resistance and low adoption rates. Clearly communicate the benefits of workflows and how they can improve your team’s productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
#3 Integration issues:
Many tech startups already have existing systems in place, and integrating new workflows can be challenging. Managers need to ensure a smooth integration process to ensure workflows are integrated seamlessly.
Workflows are essential to modern business processes, and tech startups can benefit significantly from their implementation. Workflows ensure consistency, efficiency, transparency, and scalability. By following best practices and choosing the right workflow tool, tech founders can implement workflows that improve their business processes and help their tech companies grow. So, take the time to identify the processes in your tech startup that can benefit from workflows, and start designing and implementing workflows today.