Workflows depend on a series of interconnected actions to get a process or project from start to finish. The smooth execution of a workflow is the result of engaged stakeholders and well thought-out processes. But even with active stakeholders, effective workflow delegation is critical.
But why is it important to be able to re-assign responsibility and authority for a workflow task to someone else – or several people? After all, each person with a role in a workflow should be dependable and actively participating in the process, and those who design the workflows should make sure those workflows are standardized, predictable and repeatable.
If all that’s in place, all of your business processes will just be a matter of “set-it-and-forget-it,” right? Not quite.
Even if your workflows check all the boxes for stakeholder involvement and optimal design, you can still experience slight hiccups — or worse. Workflows can grind to a halt if a required action or milestone sits unaddressed for too long. And out-of-the-box SharePoint restricts task delegation to just the task owner and the site administrator.
A while back I wrote a technical how-to on our Nintex Community, called The Gentle Art of Delegation that walks you through how to use this feature.
In this post, I’ll offer three reasons to use workflow delegation and three examples of situations where workflow delegation can be useful.
3 Reasons You Need to Delegate
One way process tasks grind to a halt is when stakeholders become unexpectedly unavailable, or a task is assigned to the wrong person.
In addition to the potential personnel-related issues, the workflows themselves can raise concerns. This is particularly evident when a situation follows a path that is an exception to the standard workflow.
Here are three ways workflow delegation can help you to avoid delays and work stoppages:
1. Plan Ahead to Prevent Roadblocks:
Creating a workflow for a task means determining a path for escalation upfront, ensuring that there is greater visibility and a clear understanding of who is involved and which tasks they are expected to perform.
2. Enable Collaboration To Make Sure a Task Gets Done:
With Nintex Workflow, you can ensure that all users with the proper credentials can delegate tasks. It’s possible for task owners to easily re-assign tasks in order to mitigate delays in productivity. The process of re-assignment is streamlined, meaning the task passes hands quickly and seamlessly and the new task owner can get to work without delay.
3. Implement an Approval Process to Mitigate Errors:
When a critical projects seems to be at a standstill, you can designate a manager who can step in and approve a task when all other options are exhausted.
3 Scenarios for Workflow Delegation
Many workflows can benefit from incorporating workflow delegation.
If a task owner is suddenly unavailable, it falls to IT to delegate tasks. That creates bottlenecks as time-strapped IT departments juggle all their projects. Automating task delegation within a workflow enables IT to focus on technology projects rather than on administration work like changing task owners.
Here are three scenarios that can especially benefit from workflow delegation:
1. Employee Incorrectly Assigns a Task:
If you’re incorrectly assigned a task and no one has set up workflow delegation, you have to notify the site administrator. Typically, that person will have to cancel the workflow and run the process again.
However, if workflow delegation is set up, you can merely select the Delegate button within your browser and get a task to the right person.
2. Employee Off-Boarding:
When employees leave the company, they leave the tasks they handled. Without workflow delegation, those tasks get stuck in the workflow and become orphaned. With workflow delegation in Nintex Workflow, all activities managed by the leaving employee can be easily re-assigned to someone else.
Keeping workflows flowing helps ensure that it’s business as usual even if someone leaves.
3. Employee on Leave:
When someone is on leave, the projects they’re involved with don’t go on leave with them.
Business continues while the employee is on holiday or at a work conference, and projects often can’t be put on hold. Setting up workflow delegation makes it easy for tasks to go to the person or people filling in while the person is out. That keeps the process moving smoothly.
A well-designed workflow doesn’t just mean building out what you need, but also anticipating potential delays or issues. Building a back-up plan into your workflow, including workflow delegation, keeps your tasks clean, and helps you more effectively navigate roadblocks and avoid delays in your workflows.
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