Workflow management systems (WfMS) are software tools that help organizations automate and optimize their business processes. These systems are used for tracking tasks, progress and ensuring compliance. However, with increasing process complexities and multiple parties involvement they get very complex. That’s where digital playbooks come in. Digital playbooks are flexible; they also map complex processes into simple steps and let multiple parties track the process. Digital playbooks simplify and streamline workflows, improve communication and collaboration, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
A playbook is a series of steps or guides that help track processes from beginning till the end. It integrates both explicit and tacit knowledge, including structured, formalized internal processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as less tangible, experiential insights and best practices. A playbook’s purpose is to establish a uniform direction and standardized reference point, enabling every member of the organization to align their efforts towards shared objectives. A playbook can cover various aspects of an organization, such as business strategy, marketing, product development, company policies, and cultural ethos. A playbook can be updated and revised as the organization evolves and learns from its experiences.
A digital playbook is a playbook that is stored and accessed electronically, using cloud-based platforms, mobile devices, or web applications. A digital playbook can be automated and may support automations like script writing, alerts, notifications, emails sends and many more. A digital playbook can be interactive and can also be integrated with external tools to allow seamless flow of information, reports and updates.
A workflow management system (WfMS) is a software system that provides an infrastructure for the set-up, performance, and monitoring of a defined sequence of tasks arranged as a workflow application.
A workflow is usually a defined and repeatable process towards a particular outcomes. Workflow tools can be specificized for the jobs and can bring plethora of sub-flows and rules and triggers. These tools may also be automated and integrated with other systems.
Playbooks and workflow management systems are both tools that can help organizations manage their processes and tasks. Nonetheless, both these tools are suitable for different purposes. Following are the two key differences between a workflow management system and playbooks:
Playbooks provide clear and consistent direction to users, they reduce complexity and allow easy tracking progress to users as well as management. This reduces ambiguity and adds efficiency in the system. Following are a few ways how playbooks simplify complex flows and operations.
Playbooks optimize customer experience and improve how service is delivered to customers. Sometimes it is difficult to visualize the benefits that a tool or technology can bring. It’s easy to get absorbed in usage approach etc. But it is essential to understand the benefits in order to assess ROI and also help users visualize how a particular tool or technology can help them improve their performance. Following are a few benefits of using a playbook:
Digital playbooks are highly useful and powerful as they bring the flexibility of playbooks and automation for efficiency. Playbooks help organizations simplify their operations, streamline processes, stay on track for outcomes, have strong communication and foster collaboration and transparency in teams. Digital playbooks simplify the entire process with much ease and allow adaptability.
As Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple had said: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”10
Believing in simple can be hard for organizations at times. It is then when they resort to complex tools and technologies promising wonders! What playbooks allow is quicker visibility into results. Simplified processes that are effective, agile and allow collaboration.
A leader in retail analytics achieved an 18% reduction in onboarding time by implementing Playbooks across multiple roles.