Discover what a digital workflow solution is, how it can benefit your business, and use cases. Then, find the right tool to enable your teams and improve your workflow.
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Picture the scene: you’re surrounded by more memos, to-do lists, and sticky notes than a stationery store. You’re juggling project timelines and coordinating people while your team is poring over spreadsheets to track progress and shooting off emails for status updates. All of which is taking you away from project tasks.
You need digital workflow solutions to automate manual tasks and keep everyone on track. These aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re essential to improve efficiency, communication, and teamwork. That’s why you need to understand the benefits of automating workflows–and which tools to use–to make your processes and teams more productive.
In this post, you’ll learn what digital workflow solutions are, some use cases, and which tools to use. You’ll also learn how Switchboard makes teams more efficient by giving them a central place to find each other and get work done—together or async.
Go from surviving to thriving.
Switchboard keeps everything and everyone organized in persistent rooms—so you can focus on work instead.
What is a digital workflow solution?
A digital workflow solution means different things to different people. For some, it’s making business processes more efficient by organizing interdependent tasks into a logical sequence. Also, automating tasks and handovers where possible.
For others, a digital workflow solution is the platform or automation software used to achieve this. For example, Asana to create workflows or Zapier to connect software tools. We’ll take a closer look at some of these later. In the meantime, check out this post to learn more about what a digital workflow is.
What are the benefits of using a digital workflow solution?
The benefits of digital workplaces include greater agility, flexibility, and competitiveness. Here’s how digital workflow solutions contribute to that.
- Productivity: Automating repetitive or manual tasks reduces time, errors, and inefficiencies, freeing people up to do more high value work. Managing tasks in a central platform also reduces context switching between tools and tabs, which can waste up to four hours per week.
- Better teamwork: Using a single platform or connected tools makes it easier to find what you need and see who’s doing what, which improves teamwork for up to 96% of workers. It also eliminates silos and promotes transparency and accountability, which helps build trust in the workplace.
- Async, remote, and hybrid work: Using connected or centralized tools in a digital workplace provides a single source of truth and helps keep everyone on the same page. This means people can work from anywhere on their own schedule—without endless meetings.
- Scalability: As your business grows, digital workflow solutions can be scaled to accommodate more complex processes and a larger workforce.
- Better employee and customer experience: Workflow automation frees people up to grow and do more rewarding work, which leads to increased job satisfaction. More productive employees doing more high-value work should also translate into better products for your customers.
- Better decisions: Data from digital workflow tools lets you assess productivity, identify bottlenecks, and make better decisions.
Digital workflow use cases
Next, let’s look at how you can apply digital workflow solutions to your processes.
Digital workflow software like Asana lets project managers assign tasks and track project progress from one central platform. Notifications and alerts keep everyone on track by letting them know when tasks are ready for them and when they’re due.
Here’s an example of a project workflow:
- Project manager assigns tasks, with start and end dates, and sets up notifications.
- Team members work on tasks, triggering notifications for the next person when they close their tasks.
- Stakeholders are notified via email or Slack integrations when work is ready for review.
Pro tip: Switchboard’s visual collaboration platform streamlines project management by uniting everything and everyone you need for your project in one persistent, host-free room. This means anyone can hop in any time to find what they need and work together in real time or async alone. No more hunting around for information in endless Slack threads or sharing updates after a call.
Digital workflow solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) help with sprint planning by cleaning up data, helping you prioritize, and enabling more productive meetings. For example, you can use Jira to create a sprint and add user stories from your backlog, which AI can then process and create acceptance criteria. This helps you take data-based decisions about the sprint goal and prioritize issues to focus on.
Here’s a typical sprint planning workflow:
- Product owner reviews the roadmap to ensure proposed developments are aligned with the vision.
- Backlog is groomed and stories updated.
- Product owner proposes a sprint goal and triggers automatic notifications to alert the team to review it before the planning meeting.
- Team comes together to review user stories and goals in a sprint planning meeting.
Pro tip: Share user stories and sprint goals in your persistent Switchboard sprint planning room. This lets everyone get up to date async, so you can dive right into discussing the goal in the meeting.
Everything stays right where you left it afterward, so anyone who couldn’t make it can catch up with the room recording or AI-generated summaries of sticky notes.
Creative and design reviews
Using a central platform for creative and design reviews makes it easier to gather feedback, implement changes, and get approvals. For example, you can run real time reviews in a dedicated Switchboard room by pulling up all the browser-based apps and documents your team needs. Because everything’s multiplayer, you can then work on things side by side without sharing screens.
A creative and design approval process might look like this:
- Designers submit designs in Figma, triggering notifications for stakeholders to review them.
- Stakeholders review designs in a Switchboard room and leave feedback in sticky notes.
- Project manager reviews AI-generated note summaries and assigns follow-up tasks to designers.
- Designers work on tasks and resubmit designs for final approval.
Automating UX/UI workflows speeds up the process of incorporating user feedback to make product improvements. You can use tools to gather data on user interactions with your product, conduct user interviews, create prototypes, and hand off to developers.
Here’s what that looks like in a workflow:
- UX/UI researchers collect data on product use, bugs, and suggestions for improvements.
- UX designers create sitemaps and wireframes using Figma.
- A design and prototype is created using Adobe XD.
- Prototype is tested, using data gathered with Hotjar.
- Handoff to developer team via automatic Slack notifications from Asana.
7 tools you need in your digital workflow tech stack
Now you know how to create digital workflows, let’s look at some tools you can use.
1. Task or project management software
These platforms help you plan, execute, and track projects or tasks from start to finish. Project managers can assign tasks, configure due dates and alerts, and allocate resources all in one central platform. Team members have visibility on task owners and due dates, which helps keep everyone on track and reduces notification overload from messages. In Asana, you can also build workflows, visualize project timelines and milestones, create to-do lists, and see team calendars.
For instance, you can create a customized product development roadmap and get all stakeholders aligned–designers, developers, product marketers, etc.–at the appropriate stage. This streamlines the product development cycle, making it scalable and repeatable, and ensures no crucial steps are missed.
2. Customer relationship management platform
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms let you manage all your customer relationships and data in one place, from lead generation to after-sales service. They integrate with other popular tools, automatically updating records with new data. This eliminates busywork, provides a single source of truth, and makes it easier to track customer interactions.
For example, in a digital workflow, HubSpot auto-assigns inbound leads to sales representatives based on priority and availability, eliminating manual errors. It also sends automated responses to simple inbound queries, freeing reps up to focus on crafting compelling cold emails or talking to prospects.
3. Help desk software
Help desk software allows you to track, manage, and respond to customer service tickets from one central platform, from upgrade issues to bug fixes. This makes it easier to organize, prioritize, and provide personalized responses to user issues.
For example, with Zendesk agents can reply to queries via email, phone, or chat without having to leave the platform. They can also see user interaction histories and details without switching between tools or having customers repeat information they’ve already provided. In a digital workflow, Zendesk auto-assigns tickets to the right agent based on expertise or workload, which means faster response times and happier customers.
4. Communication tools
Communication tools enable real-time and async interactions through chat, video conferencing, or audio and video clips. They're essential for effective collaboration, information sharing, and keeping everyone on the same page.
Slack lets you organize conversations by topic, team, or project so it’s easier to find what you need and share information with the right people. It also offers audio and video, so if a thread’s getting too long you can hop into a quick “huddle” to talk in real time.
In digital workflows, you can integrate Slack with tools like Asana or HubSpot to enable automatic updates about task completion or customer interactions. This makes it easier to keep team members in the loop while avoiding notifications from multiple tools.
Analytics tools take the grunt work out of gathering and analyzing data related to various aspects of your business. For example, on user behavior, workflow effectiveness, or the performance of your product marketing campaigns.
For example, Amplitude provides automated reports and visualizations of user journeys with actionable, real-time insights to enable product-led growth. In a digital workflow, you can use it to harvest data from Google Analytics 4 and push insights to Slack channels, eliminating manual work.
6. Integration platforms
Integration platforms are the glue that connects the software tools in your tech stack. Use them to automate tasks and push data between tools, taking the busywork out of keeping people, records, and systems updated.
For example, with Zapier you can set up “Zaps” to create tasks in Asana when a new support ticket arrives in Zendesk, so an agent can get straight on it. Or you can push data from Google Analytics to Google Sheets for analysis without the manual work.
7. Digital workspace
A digital workspace can mean different things. For example, a single platform that combines various functions in an all-in-one solution. For example, Microsoft 365 offers task management, document collaboration, and task management.
An alternative is a visual collaboration platform like Switchboard, whose persistent rooms let you organize everything–and everyone–by project. Just open up all the multiplayer browser-based apps you need–from Asana to HubSpot CRM to Amplitude–to get a bird’s eye view of your project. Then, work side by side on anything in real time or async alone. No more context switching and no more silos—just in-context communication and productive teamwork.
Digital workflow solutions: The key to more productive teams
Digital workflow solutions are an important digital workplace trend that involves process automation by organizing repetitive tasks into a scalable, repeatable series of steps to achieve your goals. This helps teams connect, find what they need, and be more efficient and productive. It also frees them up to concentrate on complex problems rather than menial tasks.
Remember that chaotic office? Well, they automated their manual workflows using tools like Asana for project management, Slack for communication, Amplitude for data gathering, and Zapier to connect them all up.
Now, it’s a different story: Those cumbersome spreadsheets? Replaced by dynamic dashboards that update in real-time. The endless email threads and status requests? Transformed into automated Slack notifications from Asana that keep everyone in the loop. With the headaches taken out of staying organized, they can focus on creating better products instead.
They also use Switchboard as a home base to organize people, files, and apps into dedicated, persistent project and meeting rooms. Because Switchboard saves your work, anyone can jump in to work side by side in real time or get updates and add contributions async, which means fewer meetings and more time for focus work.
Go from surviving to thriving.
Switchboard keeps everything and everyone organized in persistent rooms—so you can focus on work instead.
Frequently asked questions about digital workflow solutions
What is the difference between a workflow and a project?
A project is an overarching plan to achieve a specific goal over time. For example, building a new product. This usually involves a series of tasks and subtasks that relate to the project objective, like onboarding, gathering user data, or creating a prototype. These larger tasks can often be broken down into subtasks that can be organized into a workflow. For example, the steps involved in creating a prototype can be divided into tasks and assigned to different people, often completed sequentially.
What is the best program to create a workflow?
The best program to create a workflow will depend on your specific digital transformation needs. However, workflow management software like Asana, Trello, or Jira are great for creating no-code workflows, assigning tasks, tracking progress, and automating routine tasks and digital processes like sending notifications.
What are the general steps of a digital workflow?
The steps of a workflow process will vary depending on the objective and who’s involved. However, as an example, the general steps of a project management workflow might include assigning tasks, using automation tools, completing tasks, notifying stakeholders, and getting approvals.