The different types of workflow tasks are organized by the stage that a project is in. Workflow tasks are typically organized according to what needs to be done to the project, including design, data confirmation, implementation, quality checks, and testing and completion. Project management software helps to identify what stage a project is in, what tasks need to be completed, who is responsible for certain workflow tasks, and how the handoff process will take place.
Design and presentation is usually the first set of workflow tasks. When a project is in its beginning stages, information is gathered to determine its parameters and what the desired outcome is. Specifications and options are explored at this point. An example would be the sale of voice and data phone lines.
In this scenario, an account executive or sales representative would work with the customer to determine what type of service he may be looking for. The sales representative would then negotiate certain product types that fit the customer's needs and put together a data sheet with these specifications. An order becomes a project that is handed off to a service and fulfillment team that verifies the information and handles the technical aspects of the request.
The second stage of workflow tasks is sometimes referred to as data confirmation or specification. Project requests are examined to make sure that they are within company guidelines and meet the requirements for implementation. For example, if a customer requests a service that isn't available in his area, then the project cannot go through. With some projects, customer contact and billing information may be verified in order to facilitate the implementation process, which could involve the cooperation of third-party vendors.
Implementation involves working with a variety of departments and individual contacts that are responsible for different project details. During this stage, monitoring is typically conducted to ensure that milestone dates are met. Escalations and troubleshooting may need to occur between the various individuals involved in order to resolve issues that might be holding the project back.
Another type of workflow task is testing and quality control. Once a project's details have been completed, testing is often conducted to ensure that everything is in working order. In the example of a voice phone line, once the service has been installed, the customer and the vendors test the line to make sure that it is functioning as specified.
The project completion stage is also considered to be a workflow task. Reports may be written during this time, as well as an analysis of what went well. Suggestions for improvement might also be made during completion. The project is usually marked as complete once it has passed successful testing.