What is a Document Approval Process Workflow and Why is it Important for Your Document Control System?
A document approval workflow defines the specific steps required in the approval of your documentation.
It helps to standardise and map out the process a document will follow as it goes from its first draft to the final version. It can play a big part in managing your document control system.
If your business has a large document control system, you will need to have a process to manage this.
Having a document approval process in place is crucial for all organisations no matter what sector they are in.
Crucially, by having definitive actions for each step it helps to improve efficiency as everyone involved knows what is required of them.
A document approval workflow can also help you spot bottlenecks in your document control system.
For example, you will be able to see how long each document takes to move through each step, which will allow you to recognise where hold ups are coming from.
A document approval process also helps improve traceability and accountability within your organisation. It tracks changes and approvals at each stage and identifies who made them.
How to Create your own Document Approval Process Workflow
To create a document approval workflow, start by identifying and defining the outcomes you want to generate with this document process.
When creating a document approval process workflow, it is essential that you have a strong grasp of your start and endpoint before establishing the rest of the workflow.
Once these have been determined it is much easier to fill in the rest of the steps.
Draw up a list of the different steps that you need to be accomplished to allow the process to pass from start to finish.
Consider which parts of your process will require conditional logic, for example, are there any constraints that will affect the approval of a document at each step?
It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the task structure before continuing.
The document approval process follows the lifecycle of a new document or one that needs to be revised.
You must think about the different steps a document needs to go through within your organisation before it can be approved and issued to employees.
Think about how your documentation goes from point A to point B.
Next you need to consider who will be involved in your workflow. Examine the stakeholders involved, their individual responsibilities, and the information they will need to perform the task effectively.
Based on these different factors you can then create specific roles for each step of the task and establish accountability.
Remember, one step may have many different roles involved. Alternatively, one role may have responsibility on many different steps.
Your roles could be defined in broadly generic terms.
For example, you could have roles like “Document Approver” or “Document Requester”. However, these could also be more specifically tailored to your organisation and the different departments involved.
In our document approval process template, which you can download below, we chose to include a document reviewer as one of our roles, but maybe you need more than one type of reviewer as documents should be approved by at least two departments.
Once these factors have been considered you can then create your workflow template. You could design your template on paper or use a digital workflow template builder, like the one offered by Jomo247.
Electronic document approval and control system with Jomo247
Using a digital programme is more efficient and makes creating, editing, and sharing your template easy.
With Jomo247 once you have created your document approval process template it can then be used to automate this process through our system. You can use our software for electronic document approval to ensure accountability through your document approval process.
With customisable roles built into our workflow designer it is even easier to control who can take part in and see information regarding each different step.
Once you have created your template it is now time to apply the new or revised process.
Always keep track of how your processes are performing in real time in case improvements or changes are required.
Continual improvement of your processes is key to compliance and ensures your operations are running as effectively as they can be.