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As a project manager, you need to oversee many types of workflows as part of your role. If you’re looking for a fresh approach to these workflows or need some good examples of workflows to help you drive your work forward this year, I’ve rounded up ten common examples of processes that benefit from clear and repeatable workflows to help. 

I’ve even included a workflow diagram or two and some examples of what these could look like in your project management software tool or workflow management software.

1. New Client Onboarding Workflow

What it is: A new client or new customer onboarding workflow might be one of the most critical workflows in your arsenal. It's one of the main ways you make a good first impression after the contract or sales order is signed and you start to integrate the client’s work into your team’s workflow.

How It Works: There are usually two sequential parts to a client onboarding workflow. Internally you need to ensure the project is staffed correctly and that work is scheduled appropriately.

On the client-facing side, you’ll need to schedule a welcome email that outlines the next steps, host a kickoff meeting, and share how you’ll communicate and check-in over the course of the project.

New Client Onboarding Workflow example
Here's how a new client onboarding workflow might look.

2. Project Kickoff Workflow

What it is: A project kickoff workflow is used to help get a project started.

It might involve reviewing the statement of work or project charter with the project team (and relevant stakeholders), setting up the project management tool and any time tracking software, creating a project folder in a shared drive and making any needed documents and templates, and holding a kickoff meeting.

How It Works: The project kickoff workflow helps get the project team and stakeholders ready to start working together. It includes all the necessary tasks to get set up and establish communication norms. This might include reviewing approval processes, and going over the timeline and other expectations.

Project Kickoff Workflow example
Here's an example workflow for project kickoffs.
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3. Change Request Workflow

What it is: A change request workflow is designed to facilitate change within a project.

Should scope, personnel, or timing need to be changed, both the client and the agency (or the project sponsor and the project manager) would document and sign a change order.

How It Works: The change request workflow will outline the business process needed to execute a change. They specify who is executing the change, the process of putting the change in writing, getting sign-off from all parties on the change, and executing the change.

Change Request Workflow example
Change request workflows are common on projects—here's an example of one.

Learn about BPM vs workflows here.

4. Email Marketing Campaign Workflow

What it is: An email marketing campaign workflow outlines the tasks involved in the creation and sending of email marketing messages.

There may be parts of the workflow that you can automate (using workflow automation software) to streamline the process and provide analytics on email performance to the project team (and the CRM system).

How It Works: The workflow steps through the process of assigning resources to the campaign, creating the email schedule, writing and approving all of the email content, choosing dates the emails should be sent and in what order, and tracking the performance of the emails that have been sent. 

This might include tracking email opens, click-throughs and relevant conversions so that these lessons learned can be applied to future email campaigns.

email marketing campaign workflow example
Here's an example of how your workflow might look like if you're running email marketing campaigns.

5. Approval Workflow

What it is: Your approval workflow should help document client or stakeholder approval on deliverables or at a milestone. 

For example, if you’re redesigning a website, your client or internal stakeholder will need to approve the design of the homepage, as well as all other critical pages and design elements. You will need a specific workflow for sharing the design assets and documenting their approval.

How It Works: The steps in this workflow start when sharing an asset or information and requesting approval.

You may want to add steps for applying any feedback or changes (see change request workflow) and resubmitting the asset for review and approval. Your workflow also needs a place to document the date the asset was approved on.

approval workflow example
Here's an example approval workflow set up in Asana.

6. Risk & Issue Tracking Workflow

What it is: A risk and issue tracking workflow creates a process for documenting known risks or issues that may come up or have arisen during the course of a project.

This allows the project manager or other stakeholders to follow up and ensure risks are being mitigated and issues are resolved in a timely manner.

How It Works: This workflow assumes that the project manager or the project team will log their issues or create a risk register so that risks and issues can be followed up on and monitored accordingly.

Risk and Issue Tracking Workflow example
This workflow example for tracking risks and issues is pretty simple, but depending on your use case it might be more complex.

7. New Feature Request Workflow

What it is: Over the course of a project, the need for a feature that wasn’t scoped may arise. This could be a client or stakeholder request or simply a requirement that didn’t come out in discovery for whatever reason. 

A new feature request workflow helps the team define the feature’s requirements, estimate how long it will take to complete, identify who needs to work on the feature, and work through any approvals or change orders that need to happen before the work is kicked off.

How It Works: This workflow lays out the steps after the feature has been identified. The team will get more granular on requirements and staffing needs and present the scope of the change for approval. If approved, the next step may be to execute a formal change order and update the project plan and schedule.

New Feature Request Workflow example
Here's an example of a workflow a new feature request might follow.

8. Staffing Change Workflow

What it is: Over the course of a project, especially a longer project, it’s possible that some staffing changes may need to take place. 

This could be because someone is leaving the organization, someone has joined the organization, or someone on the project has a specialized skill that is needed on another project.

Whatever the reason, it’s good to have a workflow for the new employee to onboard onto the project and become part of the team.

How It Works: This process may be a little more broad for a new hire, but the process workflow for getting the person up to speed on the new project might be a microcosm. For an existing employee transitioning onto a new project team, the process may be more straightforward. 

In either case, it's important for the new team member to review critical project documents like the statement of work or project charter, project plan, and recent status updates.

You will also need to add them to key meetings and assign their tasks. You may also want to have them shadow a current team member for a short period of time to help them get up to speed.

staffing change workflow example
Here's an example of a workflow you might follow if you need to account for staffing changes on your projects.

9. Website Down Workflow

What it is: You may have some notifications set to let you know if your website (or a client’s) goes down. But what happens next needs an efficient workflow that will allow you and members of your team to act quickly and restore the downed website.

How it works: This workflow sets the process for getting a website back up and running quickly. It usually involves contacting the web host or IT professional to troubleshoot or restore the last working copy of the site in order to avoid unnecessary downtime.

Website Down Workflow example
This is an example website down workflow—this is the kind of thing it's best to have in place before you need it.

10. Project Closeout Workflow

What it is: All good projects come to an end. That’s why you need a workflow to close them out right.

This workflow sets up processes for closing out any remaining tasks, archiving assets and deliverables, analyzing any data, and documenting lessons learned. It sometimes also involves handing over the relationship for maintenance or other ongoing customer support, depending on the nature of the project.

How it works: This workflow lays out the series of steps needed for project closure. Start by checking to ensure all tasks have been completed and contractual obligations have been met. The next step may involve some business workflows like ensuring the final invoice has been sent, closing out the project budget, and reassigning resources. 

Then, as the project manager, you’ll take all of the project artifacts and ensure they are properly archived. If you work in an agency setting, you may also send the clients a post-project survey to get some feedback on your process and how it was to work with you.

Another part of an effective workflow might be to host a retrospective to ensure the team has also had a chance to share any lessons they learned and want to carry into future projects.

project closeout workflow example
This is a workflow example for the process of closing out a project.

Join For More Workflow Management Insights

If implementing more standard workflows or looking at other use cases is on your list of goals this year, we hope these examples can become workflow templates that are easy to tailor to your needs.

Want to connect with other digital project managers to share resources, workflows, and best practices? Join our membership community and get access to 100+ templates, samples, and examples, and connect with 100s of other digital project managers in Slack.

Marissa Taffer
By Marissa Taffer

Marissa Taffer, PMP, A-CSM is the founder and president of M. Taffer Consulting. In her consulting practice, she helps organizations with project management processes and tools. She also serves as a fractional project manager supporting digital agencies, marketing departments, and other consultancies.