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15 Best Workflow Management Software Of 2021

By 03/01/2021 4 Comments
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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 flood of project tasks that need to happen along the way, with project outcomes becoming fully formed as they flow through different processes, checks, and balances.

Here’s a shortlist of the workflow management software I review in this post. Click to visit their sites, or read more about each tool below.

  1. monday.com - Best workflow management software for process visualization
  2. Hive - Best small business workflow management software
  3. Kissflow - Best enterprise workflow management software
  4. Wrike - Best workflow management software for scaling organizations
  5. Unito - Best workflow management tool for collaboration across multiple tools
  6. Admation - Best agency workflow management software
  7. Orchestly - Best workflow management software for optimizing processes
  8. Quixy - Best no-code workflow management software
  9. TeamGantt - Best For Creating Drag And Drop Gantt Charts
  10. Process Street - Best For Automating Scheduled Tasks
  11. Formstack - Best For Small Teams
  12. ProWorkflow - Best For Visual Deadline Tracking
  13. Gain - Best For Social Media Workflows And Approvals
  14. Screendragon - Best workflow management software for large global teams
  15. ClickUp - Best free plan for workflow management software

Below you’ll find an overview of each of the 15 best workflow management software, with screenshots, feature overviews, and pricing.

Jump to workflow management software overviews

Logo Soup of Workflow Management Software

Workflow management software adds a layer of structure and visibility to your workflow process, helping you turn ideas into products, and concepts into processes. These tools help 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 solutions are a must-have for keeping teams unified, especially with the growing complexity and fast pace of our multi-tasking, 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 the 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 when choosing a workflow tool.

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The 15 Best Workflow Management Software

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.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/2 users/month

monday.com - Best workflow management software for process visualization

Visualize workflow processes step-by-step and set clear timeframes for projects, tasks, and processes.

monday.com, an award winning platform, is one of the few workflow tools that prides itself on ‘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.

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.com is a good choice because it can round out your workflow with alerts, notifications, integrations, and automated processes. monday.com’s features include a customizable task board for managing task status, assignee, due date, hours spent, and more.

The tool offers multiple views of work—view by list, by geographical map, on a Kanban board, and others. It also offers a great project dashboard with a Gantt chart style overview for checking all projects that are underway.

Apart from that, monday.com enables big picture views using dashboards that collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. It doesn’t offer much in the way of financial reporting, though, so for budget-related reports you’d want to look at 3rd party integrations.

monday.com’s integrations include Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and many more that are accessible via Zapier. For help setting up integrations, the company’s customer support is available 24/7 by phone or email.

monday.com pricing starts at $17/month for two users.

Summary of monday.com:

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

Pros

  • Huge focus on collaboration
  • Long list of supported integrations
  • Spreadsheet-style pulses for task progress

Cons

  • Complex pricing rubric
  • No single-user plan
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $12/user/month

Hive - Best small business workflow management software

View projects and workflows in multiple formats, including Gantt charts, Kanban boards, lists, and more.

Hive is a project management tool, collaboration platform, and workflow management software that powers companies like Starbucks, Uber, WeWork, and IBM. With AI-based analytics, thousands of integrations, flexible project views, and more, Hive streamlines your workflow in one centralized platform. Used by teams of varying sizes, from 10 people to 1,000, Hive is a great option for a diverse range of companies and work styles.

Hive’s time-tracking, analytics, and flexible view capabilities allow for a transparent understanding of other team-members work and upcoming projects. Hive also has one of the first full email integrations in any project management tool, which allows you to send and receive Gmail and Outlook messages from the app. Choose Hive if you’re in the market for a well-laid-out, comprehensive workflow management tool that can be scaled up or down based on team needs.

The tool costs $12 per user per month when billed annually.

Summary of Hive:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • Flexible project layouts
  • Native email and messaging
  • Has infinite subtasks
  • Add external users without paying for a seat

Cons

  • Lack of a desktop app or an add-on
  • Calendar tools are more basic
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $360/30 users/month

Kissflow - Best enterprise workflow management software

Track workflow, processes, and utilization across your organization.

This is the buffet of workflow management software. Combining projects, cases, and collaboration with its core functionality, workflows, Kissflow offers a unified digital workplace for all forms of work, both manual and automated. The visual interface lets users drag and drop elements to create any number of apps without any coding. Users can either build on top of apps spanning across multiple categories like HR, Finance, or Procurement in their gallery or build one from scratch.

The platform is highly intuitive and requires little to no effort to learn. The customizable workflows and dynamic routing let users adapt when requirements change or as teams scale. Users can prioritize work and easily delegate work to team members. Users get instant notifications when an item is complete or requires action.

Further, users can identify bottlenecks, track task flows, and drastically improve efficiency. Kissflow is intrinsically connected with G-suite and users can make use of its open API to integrate with any other tool.

There’s nothing else quite like Kissflow on the market. This tool offers highly configurable, trigger-based workflows and advanced reporting features like KPI dashboards and ad-hoc reports configuration. Kissflow is a good tool for teams or projects whose makeup, processes, or framework can experience change at the drop of a hat.

However, for users who are building workflows that require more system-integrations rather than human tasks, Kissflow may not have all the features required.

Kissflow starts at $360/month for up to 30 users and offers a 14-day free trial.

Summary of Kissflow:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
  • Loads of configurable features
  • Community feedback voting for roadmap features

Cons

  • Not tailored for small organizations
  • Could use a better commenting system
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From 9.80/user/month

Wrike - Best workflow management software for scaling organizations

See team workloads in a calendar view to keep track of deadlines.

Wrike is an intuitive workflow management software suitable for teams of five or more, and offers an unlimited number of users. As a highly configurable software, users can customize workflows, dashboards, reports, and request forms.

Wrike’s simple interface enables users to switch between Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, and traditional workload views for visualizing priorities. Wrike also features powerful automation, with custom request forms that auto-assign tasks, push notifications, and deadline tracking.

Users can get advanced insights with KPI reports, resource management and allocation, and more. The tool also offers a variety of different solutions depending on the type of team or organization, including marketing teams and professional service teams.

Wrike offers more than 400 native integrations, including popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.

Wrike costs $9.80/user/month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans with the option to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.

Summary of Wrike:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • Holistic, comprehensive task modeling
  • Loads of configurable features
  • Many different ways to view the same data

Cons

  • Not tailored for small organizations
  • Could use a high-level roadmap tool
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $10/month for 5 users

Unito - Best workflow management tool for collaboration across multiple tools

Build bidirectional workflows to sync information across your favorite work management tools.

Unito is a workflow management platform that lets you build two-way workflows between the world’s most popular work management tools. Unito allows you to sync everything from tasks, assignees, comments, attachments, or custom fields across the tools you use for your daily work.

Where most integrations on the market are limited to one-way automation, Unito’s integrations create deep, two-way relationships. Users can create rules that allow them to fully customize their workflows and control the flow of information between tools.

Unito’s approach empowers teams to collaborate seamlessly across multiple work management tools. For example, users might set up workflows such as the ability to create Jira issues right from a Trello board, use an Asana project to gather and consolidate information from other tools, or keep clients in the loop by syncing progress reports to their tool of choice.

To date, Unito’s integrations include Asana, Jira, Trello, GitHub, GitLab, Wrike, HubSpot, Basecamp, Bitbucket, Jira Service Desk, Zendesk, ClickUp, monday.com, Smartsheet, Teamwork, and Airtable.

Unito offers a 14-day free trial (no credit card required). Plans start at $10/month for five users.

Pros

  • Visual, no-code workflow designer
  • Deep and easy to use integrations
  • Thorough onboarding process and dedicated customer support

Cons

  • Analytics aren’t as robust as other solutions
  • Can have a bit of a learning curve
  • Free demo and trials available
  • From $30/user/month

Admation - Best agency workflow management software

Team members can view deliverable status and easily understand where an item is in the approval process.

Admation is a project management software made for marketing teams and agencies that want the benefit of multiple features rolled into one comprehensive tool. Combining project, resource, and approval workflow management, Admation enables users to manage the full production cycle of their campaigns, from project set up to resourcing to managing the entire approval workflow.

With a user-friendly interface, Admation offers an exceptional range of project tracking software features and tools. A central dashboard enables you to have complete visibility over your projects and resources while offering an intuitive framework from which to manage all facets of your work.

Features include briefing templates, project resource templates, project timelines, scheduling and assigning tasks, document approval, capacity planning, department dashboard & calendar, resource allocation, timesheets and time tracking, a complete brand archive, permissions & access levels, tags & keywords, a secure digital storage system for your finalized ads, and more. Integrations include email systems and Mediaocean, formally BCC, which is ad agency finance software.

Admation costs from $30 per user per month and offers a free demo and free trial upon request.

Summary of Admation:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • View extensive history for each job
  • Great for proofing material
  • Track reviews and approvals
  • Easily manage updates and changes

Cons

  • Custom reporting tools limited to Enterprise Plan
  • Can’t batch download a project
  • 15 days free trial
  • From $8/user/month

Orchestly - Best workflow management software for optimizing processes

Users can view analytics, data, and statistics on progress, productivity, and project completion in order to assist with process optimization.

Orchestly is a workflow management software that helps automate, manage, and optimize routine business workflows and standard operating procedures on a drag and drop platform. Built for medium and enterprise businesses in any industry, it helps automate workflows across departments like HR, Marketing, Finance, IT, and Legal.

Customizable forms make it easy to capture business information. Both simple and complex workflows can be mapped as flowcharts in a few minutes on a drag and drop workflow builder that doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge.

You can ensure accountability by assigning the right people to the right stages of a process. Contextual data like comments and attachments can be requested from users during the process. Decision making can be automated by setting if-then conditions to route the flow. Manual labour can be eliminated by automating stages based on condition or time. Process exceptions can be handled through business rules.

Requesters can track everything in real time, and stay updated on requests. Employees know exactly what should be done, and when. Ready-made reports give you powerful insights on your process bottlenecks and redundancies, and you can create your own process-specific reports to analyze and improve your operational KPIs.

Orchestly has an Active Directory and role-based access control. You can integrate with your other tools and build your own third party app extensions as widgets. You can also connect to other tools via Zapier and Zoho Flow. There is a marketplace with several pre-built extensions like Slack, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Zoho Sign as well.

Orchestly offers a 15-day free trial and has flexible user-based pricing that starts at $8/user per month. There is also an implementation team that can help you automate your organization’s workflows.

Summary of Orchestly:

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

Pros

  • Modest per-user price
  • Native integration with Zoho
  • Great workflow visualizations (“Blueprints”)
  • Webhooks can send notifications to third-party applications

Cons

  • Dashboards aren’t customizable
  • Complex feature set has a learning curve
  • 21 days free trial
  • From $10/user/month when billed annually

Quixy - Best no-code workflow management software

Build and adjust workflows with Quixy's drag and drop builder.

Quixy is a user-friendly no-code business application platform that empowers users with no coding skills to automate workflows and processes. Users can assess, design, model, implement, monitor, and modify any processes using simple and efficient drag and drop design.

Quixy provides dozens of pre-built workflow applications for a variety of use cases such as CRM, project management, HRMS, travel and expense management, helpdesk and incident management, and much more. Quixy also offers automation options, and users can build custom workflows and processes to fit the needs of their team or department. The tool also includes capabilities for tracking project and task milestones.

The platform is rated Leader – Asia Pacific for No-Code Application Development on G2. The platform is ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 2 certified. Quixy’s API allows integration with other third-party apps and tools.

Pricing starts at $10/user/month.

Summary of Quixy:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • Simple drag and drop workflow design
  • Excellent data tables and app referencing
  • Workflow building requires zero coding skills

Cons

  • No in app collaboration with other users in the workflow
  • More online help content welcomed
  • Could benefit from larger variety of app templates
  • freemium version
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $24.95/month

TeamGantt - Best For Creating Drag And Drop Gantt Charts

Visualize your project workflow with Gantt charts.

TeamGantt is a workflow management solution that works right in your browser, making it compatible with any OS. Users can plan and manage projects with this super-easy-to-use Gantt software and invite co-workers, teammates, and friends to view and edit their work.

Create your Gantt chart online by simply dragging and dropping your tasks to plan your workflow, making this software easily adaptable with a lean learning curve.

TeamGantt’s workflow tools let you keep all of your tasks, documents, conversations, and team availability stats in one place. You can also connect documents and conversations directly to the associated task or milestone.

TeamGantt integrates with Slack, Trello, Basecamp, Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. Or, build a custom integration using TeamGantt’s public RESTful API.

TeamGantt is free for up to 3 users and 1 project. Paid plans cost from $24.95/month.

Pros

  • Flexible setup/tracking for projects
  • Share charts without receiver logging in
  • Easy drag-and-drop task duration
  • Quick learning curve

Cons

  • Dependency data is awkward at times
  • Lack of in-app notifications
  • Views sometimes lag behind changes
  • 14 days free trial for paid plans
  • From $12.50/user/month

Process Street - Best For Automating Scheduled Tasks

Create workflow checklists and manage tasks in one place.

Process Street is a process-driven tool that adapts well to simple workflow strategies. 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 workflows. The free plan welcomes an unlimited number of users, which is a nice trade-off for being feature lite in some areas.

Process 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 a client onboarding), and programming scheduled tasks that run on an automated schedule. Its drag-and-drop task manager 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, opening up a world of additional templates.

Process Street costs from $12.50/user/month for the Business Plan, but also offers a freemium account.

Pros

  • Checklists utilize conditional logic
  • Automation for onboarding/training
  • Unlimited workflow checklists and templates
  • Great third-party integration options

Cons

  • No drag-and-drop for checklist reordering
  • Missing field validation for phone numbers (emails only)
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $19/month for 1 user

Formstack - Best For Small Teams

Create forms and document processes with Formstack's template library.

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. 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 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 rates, and abandonment rates to assess your campaigns.

Formstack integrations include business applications like Salesforce, PayPal, MailChimp, Slack, ZenDesk, and 40 others.

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 can’t really access many of the workflow features until you upgrade to the Gold plan ($82.50/month for 5 users)

Pros

  • Great for gathering customer data
  • Easily extract information to Excel
  • Powerful forms with conditional logic
  • Stack forms for complex workflow automation

Cons

  • Lack of variety with field types
  • Log-in required for each of their product suite
  • 14 days free trial
  • From $10/user/month

ProWorkflow - Best For Visual Deadline Tracking

The project dashboard allows for deadline tracking and at-a-glance status updates.

Created in 2002, ProWorkflow was designed as a workflow management solution with flexible communication strategies. The workflow dashboard can be seen by assigned staff, clients, and contractors and includes tasks, time, messages, files, quotes, invoices, and more. In addition to seeing upcoming projects and tasks, there is also a ‘Recent Work’ tab and the ability to see who is currently working on what.

This tool also supplies comprehensive messaging features that are integrated with your existing email. Recipients can reply to the message from their email client and replies are added to the project discussion.

The ProWorkflow mobile app works with a touchscreen smartphone or tablet and offers core features like time tracking and task management on-the-go. Additionally, you can use the app for document management and internal messaging related to your workflow protocols.

ProWorkflow integrates with tools like Xero, Quickbooks, KashFlow, FreshBooks, MYOB AccountRight, Box Storage, DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and hundreds more through Zapier.

ProWorkflow costs from $10/user/month, which includes a maximum of 10 active projects.

Pros

  • Compact, easy to understand dashboard
  • Ability to see who is currently logged in
  • Handy list of recent actions

Cons

  • No data source Integrations
  • No dashboard widgets
  • 30 days free trial
  • From $99/month

Gain - Best For Social Media Workflows And Approvals

Define processes and workflows for efficient content approvals.

Gain is designed to bring content producers and their clients together in the same cohesive and simple workflow process. Seamless communication with excellent feedback loops and collaboration prompts allow project approvals to move faster, so no notes are missed during a project lifecycle.

With this tool, you can share your content or visuals with your clients no matter what program they were built in originally. Whether it’s a JPEG, PDF, Photoshop file, PowerPoint, or even a Google spreadsheet, Gain will create previews for your approvers and team members to review and collaborate on.

Gain’s approach to workflow management organizes and keeps track of all your content activity with visual calendars and activity trackers. It also simplifies approval systems with automated reminders.

Gain integrates easily with Canva. No additional integrations are noted.

Gain costs from $99/month. If you pay for a full year up front, you can get 2 months free.

Pros

  • Great for marketing workflows
  • Content approval workflows built in
  • Supports multiple layers of approval

Cons

  • Heavy emphasis on social media publishing
  • No bulk editing feature for posts
  • 30 day free trial
  • From $20/user/month

Screendragon - Best workflow management software for large global teams

Simplify and automate review and approval workflows.

Screendragon is a workflow management software solution that powers global organizations and brands like The International Olympic Committee, Kellogg’s, BP, and Keurig Dr Pepper.

Screendragon’s workflow management software is great for simplifying, speeding up, and automating critical processes. The tool is highly configurable with features like smart custom forms, advanced permissions, customized reporting, and personalised dashboards.

Workflows integrate with all aspects of Screendragon’s work management solution including projects, task management (Kanban, list view, or Gantt charts), and resourcing and budgeting for a seamless work environment.

A visual ‘no-code’ workflow builder allows users to streamline processes, such as review and approval processes, with drag and drop functionality. Users can preview and mark-up assets in real-time, with all decisions and comments captured centrally for quick review.

Screendragon’s team of workflow experts offer a wealth of knowledge on process change and implementation and are always on-hand to provide customers with best practices for change management, buy-in, training plans, and more.

Screendragon provides deep integrations with leading ERP systems such as SAP and PeopleSoft. It offers thousands of integrations through Zapier with popular apps like Jira, Trello, Slack, Box, Google Drive, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics. It also has an open API, enabling custom integrations with any system.

Screendragon starts from $20/user/month and a free demo is available.

Summary of Screendragon:

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

Pros

  • Workflow builder does not require coding abilities
  • Easy to scale workflows and processes to large teams and departments
  • Responsive and knowledgeable customer support team is available to users

Cons

  • Some functionalities difficult to find or not immediately clear
  • Configuration options can be overhelming
  • freemium version
  • Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/month

ClickUp - Best free plan for workflow management software

Create dashboards to track workflow, workloads, task progress, and more.

ClickUp is a workflow management software tool with powerful features for project planning, resource management, team performance tracking, and more.

The tool offers built in automation templates, and allows users to create custom automations to fit their unique workflows. Reporting features include the ability to create custom dashboards, as well as six built-in report types for team reporting.

ClickUp also includes deadline setting and tracking. Other task management features include task checklists, subtasks, and task templates, as well as the ability to filter, sort, search for, easily reorder, and view tasks in the manner most convenient for the team. Users can also create Gantt charts, calendars, and timelines to visualize tasks.

ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.

ClickUp’s free plan is robust and includes all primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5 a month per user and offers additional functionality.

Summary of ClickUp:

  1. Automation: Pass
  2. KPI Reports: Pass
  3. Deadline Tracking: Pass
  4. Integration: Pass

Pros

  • Robust free plan that includes all primary features
  • Library of automation templates
  • High degree of usability and ease of use

Cons

  • Overwhelming number of features and configuration options
  • User interface not as clean as it could be

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 Site
monday.com monday.com logo Read monday.com features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $17/2 users/month Check out monday.com
Hive Hive logo Read Hive features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $12/user/month Check out Hive
Kissflow Kissflow logo Read Kissflow features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $360/30 users/month Check out Kissflow
Wrike Wrike logo Read Wrike features & functionality Freemium version

14 days free trial

From 9.80/user/month Check out Wrike
Unito Unito logo Read Unito features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $10/month for 5 users Check out Unito
Admation Admation logo Read Admation features & functionality

Free demo and trials available

From $30/user/month Check out Admation
Orchestly Orchestly logo Read Orchestly features & functionality

15 days free trial

From $8/user/month Check out Orchestly
Quixy Quixy logo Read Quixy features & functionality

21 days free trial

From $10/user/month when billed annually Check out Quixy
TeamGantt TeamGantt logo Read TeamGantt features & functionality Freemium version

14 days free trial

From $24.95/month Check out TeamGantt
Process Street Process Street logo Read Process Street features & functionality

14 days free trial for paid plans

From $12.50/user/month Check out Process Street
Formstack Formstack logo Read Formstack features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $19/month for 1 user Check out Formstack
ProWorkflow ProWorkflow logo Read ProWorkflow features & functionality

14 days free trial

From $10/user/month Check out ProWorkflow
Gain Gain logo Read Gain features & functionality

30 days free trial

From $99/month Check out Gain
Screendragon Screendragon logo Read Screendragon features & functionality

30 day free trial

From $20/user/month Check out Screendragon
ClickUp ClickUp logo Read ClickUp features & functionality Freemium version Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/month Check out ClickUp

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:

Need expert help finding the right Workflow Management Software?

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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 flowchart 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 workflow software. We examine the tools’ time-saving automation functionalities, such as automatically assigning tasks, sending push notifications, routing documentation, reducing repetitive processes, sending status updates, and generating reports.

The best software should include automation tools and full customization for automations, including custom workflows, automated notifications, business rules, process automation, and more.

2. KPI reports

This is usually some type of dashboard with graphic displays of your workflow stats. KPI and metrics 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, and more.

5. Price

The 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 a tool’s pricing based on its simplicity, transparency, and value offered at the price.

What Does 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 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 and setting up automated processes on a project level, to evaluating and optimizing project 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 business 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.

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, timesheets, and progress into one place, as well as increasing team collaboration. 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? What other stakeholders will be involved in using or accessing the tool (ex. clients, management, and others). 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 code or 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.

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? Does it align with your use cases? 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 team member and employee onboarding, as well as the ease of use: is it a tool that your team can easily learn to use? Does it require coding to use or does it provide a drag and drop interface for making changes?

Also consider the customer experience from your end. 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 SaaS 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 consideration in selecting a workflow tool.

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising 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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