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The Best Workflow Management Software To Boost Your Team’s Efficiency

Workflow management software channels the flow of a project’s work, directing its course from A to Z. A solid workflow tool serves as a guide for the current of project tasks that need to happen along the way, with the project outcomes being fully formed as they flow through different processes, check, and balances.

Workflow Management Software-2-092818

Workflow turns ideas into products, and concepts into processes. Workflow tools add a layer of structure and visibility to this flow, helping you ensure that the project is delivered properly and that the quality of the project is maintained. These tools support you as you schedule tasks, collaborate with others, manage workloads, create and share documentation, and evaluate progress. Today, workflow management software is a must-have for keeping teams unified, especially with the growing complexity and fast pace of our multi-taking, distributed workforce.

Taking advantage of the new capabilities offered by automation and the availability of useful data for decision-making, you can do so much better than a to-do list—you can support your team with an entire ecosystem of business process management tools (BPM tools) for creating efficient, optimized workflows.

The trick is in knowing how to choose best workflow management software for your team, your business goals, and your budget. Here’s a break-down of the best workflow management software along with key criteria to consider in choosing a workflow tool.

What Does A Workflow Management Software Do? (And How It Can Help You)

What Is Workflow Software?

At its core, a workflow management system (WMS) is a set of functions for setting up, doing, and monitoring business tasks.

What Does Workflow Software Do?

Workflow management software goes by many names—you might hear it referred to as including BPM software, or simply process management software. No matter what you call it, all workflow tools offer an interface for visually representing a your workflow and optimizing its many moving parts.

Ways - Workflow Management Software

Freelancers, agencies, enterprises, and everyone in between can benefit from some kind of workflow tool, with the aim of increased productivity, reduced costs, better communication, and a fluid exchange of information within a project. You can use workflow management software for anything from monitoring deadlines at an individual level, to automating recurring tasks on a project level, to evaluating and optimizing projects’ performance on a business level.

Workflow software automates these processes. It contributes to a BPM framework or methodology.

What Is BPM Framework?

A BPM framework (business process management) framework is a process-centric framework that provides definition for and visibility into an organization’s sets of coordinated tasks.

What Is BPM Methodology?

BPM methodology aims to simplify businesses processes from end to end in order to increase productivity and efficiency. BPM methodology includes analyzing business processes, creating new frameworks, and monitoring processes for continuous optimization .

The Best Workflow Management Software To Boost Your Team’s Efficiency

Featured - Workflow Management SoftwareThe sheer variety of BPM tools is enough to overwhelm you! We examine the following tools:

  1. Productive – https://www.productive.io/
  2. Wrike – https://www.wrike.com/
  3. Monday – https://monday.com
  4. Formstack – https://www.formstack.com
  5. Process Street – https://www.process.st/
  6. ProWorkflow – https://www.proworkflow.com/
  7. WorkflowGen – https://www.workflowgen.com/
  8. inMotionNow – https://www.inmotionnow.com/
  9. Kissflow – https://kissflow.com/
  10. Pipefy – https://www.pipefy.com/
  11. Asana – https://asana.com/
  12. GetFlow – https://www.getflow.com/
  13. Avaza – https://www.avaza.com/
  14. Flokzu – https://www.flokzu.com/
  15. MetaTask – https://metatask.io/
  16. ProcessMaker – https://www.processmaker.com/
  17. Clarizen  – https://www.clarizen.com/

At the bottom of the post, we include a table summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article as well as an explanation of our selection criteria, so you can understand how we made this list of workflow management software.

The Best Workflow Management Software To Boost Your Team’s Efficiency

productive logo workflow management software

Score

100%
  • free 30-day trial
  • from $12/user/month

Productive – https://www.productive.io/

A typical Productive user is a software development shop, design studio, marketing agency or a consultancy firm. It’s focus is on seamlessly encompassing many business tools into one.

Keeping all of the business data under one roof removes a lot of overhead cost and provides some of the best agency profitability reporting in the market. It is essential for running a scalable agency business where lean, but strong processes, planning and time utilization are important.

Productive screenshot - workflow management softwareProductive streamlines the agency workflow and eliminates a lot of guesswork from daily operations. New employees have to get used to just one user interface, and senior staff get powerful reports without drilling down into spreadsheets. One of the bigger benefits is the fact that employee cost rates and company cost overhead are factored in automatically for every logged hour.

The tool comes with a 30-day free trial, during which you can test out its sales pipeline, project management, resource planning, time tracking, invoicing and reporting features.

The onboarding team puts a lot of effort into understanding every customer, case by case, helping them implement the tool so that it fits their business to the letter.

Productive integrations include a suite of accounting tools (QuickBooks Online, Xero, Exact), Zapier and any calendar via iCal exports. It also comes with an Open API for more advanced needs.

Productive starts from $144/year/user.

Summary of Productive:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
wrike logo - basecamp alternatives

Score

100%
  • freemium version
  • 14-day free trial of paid versions
  • from $9.80/user/month

Wrike – https://www.wrike.com

It’s hard to draw a comparison between lightweight tools like Asana with enterprise-grade tools like Wrike. If Asana were a bicycle, Wrike would be an SUV. They both get you from A to B, but the scenario and the user are clearly different. While Wrike offers several versions that are well-suited to small teams, this workflow management software comes equipped to quickly scale to an enterprise-grade solution.

wrike screenshot - workflow management softwareWrike simplifies managing your workflows with auto-assigned workflows that can be set to various folders, projects, and templates. In addition to task management, Wrike comes with a resource management suite of features, including Gantt charts, time-tracking, and budgeting. In fact, many of these are included in the Professional version ($9.80/user/month), offering a bit more than most other platforms for the typical price we often see hover around $10/user/month.

In terms of reporting, Wrike has a leading edge. Among the reporting features, users can choose from report templates or use the report-building wizard to create custom reports and schedule notifications for any report updates. One major advantage of Wrike is its real-time reporting function, which can automatically share real-time reports with clients, stakeholders, etc.

In terms of integrations, Wrike also offers a distinct advantage, especially for teams using GitHub and Jira: as an add-on they offer a two-way sync with these platforms for better collaboration between technical teams. Wrike also integrates with dozens of other CMS, IT, automation, customer support, and file storage platforms.

Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month for the Professional plan (up to 15 users). There’s also a free plan for up to 5 users with simple task management functionality.

Summary of Wrike:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
monday logo - basecamp alternatives

Score

95%
  • free trial
  • from $34/month for 5 users

Monday – https://monday.com/

Formerly known as Dapulse, is one of the few tools that prides itself in ‘not being a project management tool’! They’ve done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical workflow tools and focused instead on a structure and views that help clarify the sequence of work that needs to be done. Monday’s approach is somewhat Kanban-style in that it uses boards, with rows and columns that you use to organize processes. You put tasks on a board, and then you add in the steps you’ll need to take to get it done. It’s vaguely similar to a spreadsheet (a nicer-looking one)— if you’re currently using spreadsheets for project management, Monday is a good choice because it can round out your workflow with alerts, notifications, and automated processes.

monday screenshot - workflow management software

Monday’s features include a configurable task board for managing task status, assignee, due date, hours spent, etc. The tool offers multiple views of work—view by list, by geographical map, on a Kanban board, and more. It also offers a great project dashboard with a Gantt chart style overview for checking all projects that are underway. Monday includes some basic file sharing, and communication features. It doesn’t include much in the way of project reporting with budgets, so you’d have to look to 3rd party integrations.

Monday’s integrations include several project management apps like Slack, Toggl, Harvest, Jira, Github, Asana, Smartsheet, Quickbooks and many more, accessible through Zapier.

Monday costs from $34/month for 5 users.

Summary of Monday:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5
formstack logo - workflow management software

Score

98%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $19/month for 1 user

Formstack – https://www.formstack.com

If Kissflow is a buffet, Formstack is a tiramisu: we’re talking layers. Forms upon forms!

Formstack’s workflow management is centered around an easy-to-use form builder. They offer an impressive template library with over 200 pre-built business forms to customize. For users who are launching a business or nonprofit or using workflow management software for the first time, Formstack is a solid choice. It is an abundant, well-rounded resource full of pre-made documentation that saves your team time. For the same reason, Formstack is a smart choice for teams who are running a bit lean—it offers pre-built templates for HR, marketing, customer service, IT, business operations, and more. This document workflow software is good for small agencies, as it’s a bit of a “one-stop” admin shop. Overall, it’s a higher price-per-user than many of the other workflow tools, but if your processes are documentation-heavy, this tool pays for itself in those time-saving templates.

formstack screenshot - workflow management software

Formstack features include some workflow automation, such as automatically collecting payments or collecting data and routing it to people who need it. The dashboard provides a visual display of your data and KPIs, and even in basic versions you can access custom visual reports of metrics like unique views, conversion rate, and abandonment rate to assess your campaigns.

Formstack integrations include business applications like Salesforce, PayPal, MailChimp, Slack, ZenDesk, and 40 others. These integrations allow you to round out this tool; expanding it from a “one-stop admin shop” to provide workflow management as well.

Formstack costs from $19/month for 1 user, which allows you to create online forms. Note: the caveat with using Formstack for workflow management specifically is that you don’t really access many of the workflow features until you upgrade to the Gold plan ($82.50/month for 5 users).

Summary of Formstack:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass
Score:9.8
process street logo - workflow management software

Score

95%
  • freemium version
  • free 14-day trial of paid versions
  • $12.50/user/month

Process Street – https://www.process.st

As the name implies, Process Street is a process-driven tool. While Process Street doesn’t offer as much as other workflow management software tools in terms of analytics and reporting, it’s a good fit for teams with document-driven procedures. Another perk is that the free version of Process Street is more generous than most of the other workflow management software free versions: an unlimited amount of users have access to important tools like reporting features and integrations, even on the free plan. This thoughtful approach to pricing allows you to get real value from what are usually advanced features, right from the get-go—if and when you require more templates and checklists, you can upgrade accordingly.

processstreet screenshot - workflow management softwareProcess Street’s approach breaks up workflow management into three chunks: handling documentation (creating, exporting, and embedding procedure documents and templates), running trigger-based workflows (for random events initiated by a trigger, such as client onboarding), and programming scheduled tasks that run on an automated schedule. Its drag-and-drop task manager that makes it easy for anyone to use. With many tools for process documentation and workflow automation, it’s a good choice for teams who want a streamlined process framework without a maze of features to get lost in.

Process Street integrations include 1000+ apps through Zapier. It also integrates with Formstack (see below), opening up a world of additional templates.

Process Street costs from $12.50/user/month for the Business Plan.

Summary of Process Street:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports:
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5
proworkflow logo - workflow management software

Score

95%
  • free 14-day or 30-day trial
  • from $10/user/month

ProWorkflow – https://www.proworkflow.com/

ProWorkFlow is similar to tools like GetFlow or Pipefy. It’s designed to provide project and task management in a simple, streamlined interface for small- to mid-sized teams. If you’re new to the layout of workflow management software, ProWorkFlow is a good starting point—their straightforward, thorough explanation of their platform’s features is easy to digest, even for non-technical readers. Likewise, their pricing is straightforward and comparable to the industry average at $10/user/month for the basic version.

proworkflow screenshot - workflow management software

This is a well-rounded tool that’s easy to learn how to use, with a complete suite of time-tracking (as an add-on widget), reporting, file sharing, communication, invoicing, resource management, and template-building tools. ProWorkFlow also offers a template library to quickly create invoices, quotes, and tasks.

In terms of integrations, ProWorkFlow is mostly DIY. They have a library of their own apps, including a kanban-style board, scheduling app, time tracker, customer map, productivity dashboard (and more). Otherwise, their API allows you to build your own reports, apps, and integrations. Of course this does require a bit of work from someone on your team who knows their way around APIs.

ProWorkFlow costs from $10/user/month.

Summary of ProWorkFlow:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5
workflowgen logo - workflow management software

Score

95%
  • free demo
  • $3,900/year for 10 users

WorkflowGen – https://www.workflowgen.com/

This workflow management tool is miles above your Kanban cards and color-coded deadline alerts. WorkFlowGen was created by ADVANTYS, who has built a large portfolio of  leading business applications over the past 20+ years. Overall, this tool is especially well-suited for teams whose workflow requires high levels of configuration and handles a high volume of process instances. It’s a well-developed, enterprise-grade BPM tool with some of the most advanced features you’ll find, appropriate for environments that lean toward the technical side. However, for smaller agencies and creative teams, the technically advanced nature of this tool is a bit much.

workflowgen screenshot - workflow management softwareWorkFlowGen offers many advanced process design features in their workflow builder and form designer, as well as advanced search functions and the ability to perform operations on data. Automation and process optimization features strongly in this tool, with functions that enable bulk approvals and one-click approvals across processes. The reporting function is also robust, providing users the ability to generate custom charts, reports, and dashboard displays.

In terms of integrations, WorkFlowGen’s technical infrastructure makes it a dream BPM tool for IT enterprises—its GraphQL API, webhooks, Node.js integrations, and extensive Azure integration capabilities offer deep levels of customization and data manipulation.

WorkFlowGen costs from $3900/year for 10 users.

Summary of WorkFlowGen:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5
inMotionNow logo - workflow management software

Score

100%
  • free demo
  • $1780/user/year

inMotionNow – https://www.inmotionnow.com/

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the technical WorkFlowGen (above), inMotionNow is a workflow management software designed specifically for enterprise creative and marketing teams. This tool simplifies and streamlines the key processes in a creative business environment. It focuses on simpler onboarding for new users, and creating a more streamlined flow for approvals and reviews.

inmotionnow screenshot - workflow management software

inMotionNow is tailored specifically to the needs of creative project management. It offers essentials such as review and approval functions, reporting and analytics, task and time management. Additionally, a perk of this workflow management software is its 90-day onboarding program that can help you and your team effectively use the tool’s features, regardless of your technical background (or lack thereof).

inMotionNow integrations include the essential file storage and sharing apps (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, ShareFile).

inMotionNow costs $1780/year/user.

Summary of inMotionNow:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
kissflow logo - workflow management software

Score

100%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $9/user/month

Kissflow – https://kissflow.com/

This is the buffet of BPM software. Kissflow is known for its highly customizable business process management software. This tool is unique in that it lets you hand-pick and configure an unlimited number of automated business applications. Kissflow prides itself in enabling users to create apps quickly through a simple drag-and-drop interface tool, making custom workflows as simple or as complex as you need. Since it’s sort of a “build it yourself” tool, this is an excellent fit for users with a very well-defined idea of what they’d like their workflow to look like. On the other hand, for users who want more predefined structure, this isn’t necessarily a fit.

kissflow screenshot - workflow management software

There’s nothing else quite like Kissflow on the market. This tool offers highly configurable, rigger-based workflows and advanced reporting features like KPI dashboards and ad-hoc reports configuration. With 14+ customizable field types and app-building tool, Kissflow is undeniably versatile and can scale and shift with your business needs. As such, this is a good tool for teams or projects whose makeup, processes, or framework can experience change at the drop of a hat.

Kissflow integrations include ~50 pre-installed apps for a wide range of business functions, from employee onboarding to purchase requests.

Kissflow costs from $9/user/month for the Standard Edition, with a minimum of 10 users. They offer special pricing for educational orgs and nonprofits.

Summary of Kissflow:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass
Score: 10
pipefy logo - workflow management software

Score

100%
  • freemium version
  • free trial of paid versions
  • from $12/month/user

Pipefy – https://www.pipefy.com/

Pipefy is among the more robust workflow management tools, with a comprehensive suite of workflow functions, form templates, reporting and analytics, and integrations. Much as the name suggests, Pipefy’s workflow could be likened to a network of pipes equipped with valves and triggers. What sets this Kanban tool apart is that you can apply a different set of specific work rules and triggers to each of your work processes—granted, it’s a bit of extra work to set up, but it does get more granular than many tools. This is a highly configurable tool, most suitable for teams with complex workflows involving many team members and constantly moving pieces.

pipefy screenshot - workflow management software

Their kanban-inspired workflow management app is board-based (they call them “pipes”). Users choose from pre-made templates for common workflows, or you can build your own with an intuitive drag-and-drop tool. Within the boards, you create lists (or “phases”) that accommodate a wide range of management functions, such as survey questions, time estimates, difficulty ratings, and more. You can also track deadlines in various ways with a number of different notifications for overdue, late, and expired tasks. In addition to a customized workflow with triggers that help to automate processes (such as sending an email when a task hits a certain stage) Pipefy offers advanced reporting to visualize the data from workflows, a custom dashboard that can display information about productivity, lead time, and more.

Pipefy integrations include 500+ apps, through Zapier.

Pipefy costs from $12/month/user. There’s also a free plan that includes 5 boards and 10 users.

Summary of Pipefy:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass
Score: 10
asana logo - basecamp alternatives

Score

100%
  • freemium version
  • free trial of paid versions
  • from $9.99/user/month

Asana – https://asana.com/

For teams who are used to Trello, Asana will appear familiar. Like Trello, Asana’s workflow is visually simple and intuitive, based off of kanban-style cards. In fact, if you’re already using Trello but looking to add some important functions to your workflow, you can sync your Trello boards with Asana so your teams can work in the app of their choice. Really, the use case for both of these workflow apps is the same: they’re both great for small-to-mid-sized teams who work closely together and who need all of their project deadlines, reports, communication, and tasks all in one organized place. For small, growing teams who don’t require a ton of features at the start, Asana’s free version might do the trick—at least for the first couple of months—with unlimited projects and basic dashboards for up to 15 team members.

asana screenshot - workflow management software

Flexible and lightweight, Asana is a simpler tool with fewer features than the other workflow management software tools in this list (which could be ideal, especially if you know you’re not going to want loads of ultra-configurable workflows). While it doesn’t include a ton of advanced features, it does offer a straightforward, functional task management tool that is easy to learn how to use. There are some reporting features, including a customizable dashboard and visual progress chart. You’ll also find some basic automation, such as turning processes into templates, creating task dependencies, and setting up automatic status updates.

Asana integrations include 100+ applications that you can use to round out the tool with further time-tracking, reporting, and communication functionality.

Asana costs from $9.99/user/month. There’s also a free version for up to 15 team members.

Summary of Asana:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
getflow logo - project scheduling software

Score

95%
  • free trial
  • from $4.79/user/month

GetFlow – https://www.getflow.com/

GetFlow’s workflow management software (called Flow) is certainly easy on the eyes. With a crisp, clean appearance and interface that simply “feels” nice, GetFlow has produced the millennial of workflow tools: it’s all about the feeling of the experience. Slick user interface aside, this is a flexible, functional tool with a card- and list-based workflow that is well-suited to kanban projects and small to mid-sized teams. Overall, if it’s important for you to have a streamlined interface with minimal distractions, Flow is a good choice.

getflow screenshot - workflow management software

Just about everything (cards, projects, calendar) is drag-and-drop, making the platform very easy to maneuver. In addition to task management functions, Flow displays timelines—and some pretty good-looking ones, at that—to view projects’ status at a glance. The dashboard provides a visually appealing overview of all of your projects, which you can customize and organize via—you guessed it—a simple drag-and-drop.

Both integrations and automation are minimal for now (it has the essentials like Slack, Harvest, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box). Luckily, the tool is priced accordingly: the fullest version is a lower-than-average $7.99/user/month. It’s also worth considering that GetFlow has consistently responded to user feedback, releasing upgrades to their design and functionality. They’ve got a number of cool items on their roadmap, including some automated functions, a template builder, and an entirely new release called Flow Pro, which will include resource management and features for managing bigger teams.

Flow costs from $4.79/user/month.

Summary of Flow:

  1. Automation: Fail
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.5
avaza logo - basecamp alternatives

Score

98%
  • freemium version
  • $9.95/month for 2 users and unlimited collaborators

Avaza – https://www.avaza.com/

Avaza is the Swiss army knife of workflow management software, providing resource management, workflow management, time-tracking, and invoicing tools. It also integrates with an array of online payment systems.  In use cases where expenses, estimates, payments, and invoicing feature strongly, this tool offers a major advantage over other tools with its many features for managing a business’s financial tasks.That said, Avaza is a good choice if you’re currently not happy using multiple disjointed platforms for handling finances and managing tasks.  In some use cases, Avaza’s comprehensive suite of features is overkill (perhaps you run a small business or work as a freelancer). However, for the reasonable $9.95/month for the Startup Plan, Avaza’s above-average functionality—at a very average price—is hard to say “no” to.

avaza screenshot - workflow management software

As a workflow tool, Avaza enables you to create tasks in integrated workflows, invite customers, and set up triggers to automate your processes. You can toggle between different project views, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and task list views, which is a helpful feature for quickly surveying the status of your projects and resources. Because it’s a comprehensive project, resource, and task management tool, Avaza’s reporting features can provide insight into multiple aspects of your business’ performance, and this is a strong selling point. For example, in addition to status and time reports, you can view reports on overall project profitability, your team’s expenses, unpaid invoices, and more.

Avaza integrations include essentials like GitHub, Jira, Salesforce; through Zapier it can integrate with hundreds of other apps.

Avaza costs $9.95/month for 2 users and unlimited collaborators. It’s free for 1 user and unlimited collaborators.

Summary of Avaza:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.8
flokzu logo - workflow management software

Score

98%
  • free 14-day trial
  • from $50/month

Flokzu – https://www.flokzu.com/

Flokzu is one of the better cloud BPM tools for automating and optimizing workflows. It’s a focused, specialized workflow tool with a great set of essential functions to keep projects running smoothly—it does away peripheral functions, like invoicing or budgeting tools. Something we notice right away is that the pricing for Flokzu is a bit different. Their basic option is priced at $50/month, allowing unlimited users and fair amount of workflow functionality, but very limited in reporting—and API access costs another $25/month. That said, this version of Flokzu is best for mid-size teams who need workflow management software for just managing workflow—and nothing else. Leveling up, users gain more access to more custom reports, API access, etc. At this level, Flokzu operates as a more robust management tool, at slightly higher-than-average price per user.

flokzu screenshot - workflow management software

Users can create processes by defining fields and drawing the workflow or choosing from one of Flokzu’s process templates. The tool offers various automated functions, such as auto-assigning tasks, routing rules to automate your workflow, and automatically sending emails. The task management features include essentials like timers and deadline tracking. Their reporting is a little bit more elaborate, with customized reports where users can select filters and columns to display relevant information, as well as a function for automatically sending reports.

Flokzu integrations in their app directory is pretty minimal, but it does integrate with Zapier in order to connect to hundreds of other apps.

Flokzu costs from $50/month.

Summary of Flokzu:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: So-So
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 9.8
metatask logo - workflow management software

Score

100%
  • free 14-day trial
  • $5/user/month

MetaTask – https://metatask.io/

If the slick, colorful GetFlow is the millennial of workflow tools, MetaTask is the baby boomer. Not to say that it’s old fashioned by any means—simply that MetaTask means business. It’s a highly practical tool that’s not looking to impress (and clutter) with flashy, sexy features. As well, this tool doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel by using its own vocabulary for already established concepts (looking at you, Pipefy, no offense). No trendy proprietary lingo: MetaTask just calls it like it is. It’s a good choice for someone who wants a highly functional, straightforward tool.

metatask screenshot - workflow management software

MetaTask offers process templates, approval workflows, and a real-time dashboard that automatically organizes and displays tasks by due date for each user. Within their process forms, you can create invoices, expense reports, timesheets, and other data-based tables by simply choosing a table form. The tool also offers multiple options for setting and triggering deadlines: setting deadlines on a day, week, month or based on completion of a previous task, the start of a new process, etc. MetaTask clearly has the tools for a smooth workflow—however, the platform does lack some of the reporting functionality included in other tools (namely, it lacks customizable, visual data reports).

MetaTask’s integration library isn’t extensive, but it includes essentials like Microsoft Flow, Google, and Zapier for connecting to hundreds of other apps.

MetaTask costs $5/user/month and offers a free 14-day trial. In alignment with its no-fuss approach, MetaTask takes the cake for the absolute simplest pricing in the workflow management game. No complicated paywalls or user limit. Pricing is the simplest: $5/user/month. Period.

Summary of MetaTask:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
processmaker logo - workflow management software

Score

100%
  • free 30-day trial
  • from $1,500/month

ProcessMaker – https://www.processmaker.com/

ProcessMaker is a business process management software designed for enterprise corporations and government organizations. This tool’s framework is more aligned with the structured hierarchies of larger organizations in healthcare, education, manufacturing (etc) with a variety of management features for structuring roles, groups, departments, and chains of command. A major benefit of ProcessMaker is its open-source model—you’re not locked in to a single vendor or system, and you can easily connect ProcessMaker to other databases and systems (Oracle, MySQL, SQL, DMS, BI, CMS, ERP). The free open source version is available for download and includes basic workflow functionality, which is a decent workflow tool for developers who work in a non-mission-critical environment.

processmaker screenshot - workflow management softwareProcessMaker offers a no-code process automation environment that’s well-suited to projects that are document-intensive. The drag-and-drop interface makes it intuitive to build approval-based workflows, and the reporting tools include KPI dashboard with nearly unlimited options for building personalized data visualizations.

ProcessMaker integrations are accessed through RESTful APIs that integrate ProcessMaker with other standalone or web applications. The Enterprise version also include a useful Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Sheets integration for integrating emails and events with tasks.

Summary of ProcessMaker:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10
Clarizen-logo-marketing project management software

Score

100%
  • free 30-day trial
  • from $29.95/user/month

Clarizen – https://www.clarizen.com/

Clarizen is not your high school prom date—this is marriage material, here.

Clarizen has been in the game for a while (since 2006), and it shows: this is a well-developed, well-supported tool offering a wealth of business process management tools. These include dynamic reports and dashboards, automated repeatable processes and alerts, project and portfolio optimization features, resource management tools, and real-time visibility. In short: what’s not to like? This one’s a keeper. The only caveat to this robust, enterprise-grade solution is that, well, it’s priced like one. Clarizen isn’t designed or priced for smaller teams, offering only two versions: “Enterprise” and “Unlimited”.

clarizen screenshot - workflow management software

This platform offers just about every tool or feature you could dream of: a well-rounded library of add-ons, as well as integrations, a flexible interface, and configurable workflows. On top of this, it’s reporting features are cutting edge, with a built-in report wizard for automatically generating presentations of your data. They even have a bot that integrates with Slack so you can keep up with events happening in Clarizen from inside your Slack account.

Clarizen integrations include essentials like Jira, Box, Salesforce, SAP, Slack, Google Drive, NetSuite, Oracle, and others.

Clarizen costs from $29.95/user/month.

Summary of Clarizen:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integrations: Pass
Score: 10

Summary Of The Best Workflow Management Software

Here’s a table summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article. View pricing as well as availability of free trials to make a quick side-by-side comparison.

Software Overview Free Option Price Score Site
Productiveproductive logo workflow management software Read Productive features & functionality Free  30-day trial From $12/user/month 10 Check out Productive
Wrikewrike logo - workflow management software Read Wrike features & functionality Freemium version
14-day free trial of paid versions
From $9.80/user/month 10 Check out Wrike
Mondaymonday logo - workflow management software Read Monday features & functionality Free trial From $34/month for 5 users 9.5 Check out Monday
Formstackformstack logo - workflow management software Read Formstack features & functionality Free 14-day trial From $19/month for 1 user 9.8 Check out Formstack
Process Streetprocess street logo - workflow management software Read Process Street features & functionality Freemium version
Free 14-day trial of paid versions
$12.50/user/month 9.5 Check out Process Street
ProWorkflowproworkflow logo - workflow management software Read ProWorkflow features & functionality Free 14-day or 30-day trial From $10/user/month 9.5 Check out ProWorkflow
WorkflowGen
workflowgen logo - workflow management software
Read WorkflowGen features & functionality Free demo $3,900/year for 10 users 9.5 Check out WorkflowGen
inMotionNowinMotionNow logo - workflow management software Read inMotionNow features & functionality Free demo $1780/user/year 10 Check out inMotionNow
KissFlow Read KissFlow features & functionality Free 14-day trial From $9/user/month 10 Check out KissFlow
Pipefypipefy logo - workflow management software Read Pipefy features & functionality Freemium version
Free trial of paid versions
From $12/month/user 10 Check out Pipefy
Asanaasana logo - workflow management software Read Asana features & functionality Freemium version
Free trial of paid versions
From $9.99/user/month 10 Check out Asana
GetFlowgetflow logo - workflow management software Read GetFlow features & functionality Free trial From $4.79/user/month 9.5 Check out GetFlow
Avazaavaza logo - workflow management software Read Avaza features & functionality Freemium version $9.95/month for 2 users and unlimited collaborators 9.8 Check out Avaza
Flokzuflokzu logo - workflow management software Read Flokzu features & functionality Free 14-day trial From $50/month 9.8 Check out Flokzu
MetaTaskmetatask logo - workflow management software Read MetaTask features & functionality Free 14-day trial $5/user/month 10 Check out MetaTask
ProcessMakerprocessmaker logo - workflow management software Read ProcessMaker features & functionality Free 30-day trial From $1,500/month 10 Check out ProcessMaker
Clarizenclarizen logo - marketing project management software Read Clarizen features & functionality Free 30-day trial From $29.95/user/month 10 Check out Clarizen

Other Workflow Management Software Worth Considering

I haven’t had a chance to review these properly, but if the tools included in the review aren’t working for you, consider checking out these additional BPM tools:

  1. WorkflowMAX – https://www.workflowmax.com/
  2. Workgroups DaVinci – https://www.workgroups.com/
  3. Workfront – https://www.workfront.com/
  4. Workamajig – https://www.workamajig.com/
  5. Bonitasoft – https://www.bonitasoft.com/
  6. Tallyfy – https://tallyfy.com/

Workflow Management Software Selection Criteria

Some workflow automation software is more comprehensive than others—some are focused on managing the workflow itself (assigning tasks, creating dependencies, tracking deadlines). This type of application might also go by the name of workflow diagram software or workflow diagrams software. Others offer a more robust workflow management system as part of a broader resource management software or project management software. As such, they offer a suite of additional business features for creating process forms, handling invoices and payments, modeling data, managing a project portfolio, and more.

In our selection of workflow management software, we narrowed down our criteria to a few key points. These are the essential functions of a useful workflow tool:

  1. Automation: this is the whole point of using a workflow software. We examine the tools’ time-saving automation functionalities, such as automatically assigning tasks, sending push notifications, routing documentation, sending status updates, and generating reports.
  2. KPI reports: this is usually some type of dashboard with graphic displays of your workflow stats. KPI reporting not only gives team members insight into their task or project status, but also gives management insight into where inefficiencies are occurring so you can optimize your business processes.
  3. Deadline tracking: even with a dashboard, when you’re running dozens of workflows, it’s easy to lose sight of deadlines. To be useful, a workflow tool has to offer a clear system for SLA indicators. Tools use notifications, color-coding, and dashboard views that display tasks by due date in order to help you manage deadlines.
  4. Integrations: nowadays, all projects require multiple tools. Your workflow management software absolutely must integrate with other apps that you use for your business. This includes calendars, CMS, development tools, databases, email and communication tools, payment processing apps, etc
  5. Price: he value that you get from a workflow tool has to align with the price you’re paying. The best workflow software for you won’t require you to pay for features you don’t need or users you don’t have. We evaluate tool’s pricing based on its simplicity, transparency, and value offered at the price.

How To Choose The Best Workflow Management Software?

The best workflow software out there is one that aligns closely with the requirements of your business processes. When choosing, ask yourself:

What Do You Need It For?

When asking this, you’re really trying to identify: are my processes human- or system-centric? A human-centric workflow focuses more on bringing people and their tasks, documents, and progress into one place. A system-centric workflow focuses on bringing different business processes or systems together, integrating their functions to create a unified workflow in one space.

Who Is Going To Use It?

How many people are on your team? Who is going to use the tool, and do you require role-based access control? You’ll also need to ask yourself what types of people will be using the tool in order to decide if you require something code-based or with low/no code.

When thinking of your team, it’s easy to assume that a large team necessarily needs more complex workflow functions. However, keep in mind that even large projects can work best with simple workflows where all that’s really necessary is  the ability to assign tasks, share documentation, and track deadlines. On the flip-side, even very small teams can have complex workflows that benefit from advanced reporting, resource management, and optimization features.

How Would That Fit Into Your Process?

Does this tool fit in with your existing toolkit and integrate with the right tools? If this is one of the first tools you’re adding, will it scale and expand in order to meet your needs as you grow? Ask yourself whether your team will use it online, or if they need something that works offline as well.

How Long To Get It Running Smoothly?

Is it easy to implement? Along with this, look at the ease of onboarding: is it a tool that your team can easily learn to use? Many tools offer different levels of support based on your pricing tier—does it offer technical support, or will you be left hanging? Finally, is the solution hosted, or will you maintain the infrastructure behind it?

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices fall into a wide range from $0-$40 per user per month. Most workflow tools are priced per user, which highlights the importance of considering how many team members will use it—as well as how many team members are going to be using it in the future. Make sure you look at how the cost will increase as you scale—not only will your costs increase with each team member, but you may also need to bump up your plan to a more expensive tier as your business needs expand.

What Do You Think?

What did you consider when choosing a workflow management software? What’s your experience with choosing and using workflow software? Share with our community what you think is the most important considerations in selecting a workflow tool.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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