Understanding an Engineering Workflow

An engineering workflow is defined as the movement of work through various tasks and activities that create or use information.  An engineer’s job typically revolves around a large number of drawings and documents, and are managed using a series of carefully designed workflows to optimize the overall process.

Workflow management may be intuitive to some; however, an engineering workflow is often complex and requires careful planning and consideration.  Many organizations utilize software to help manage their essential workflows, as it helps administrators keep tight control over reviews, approvals, and deliverables, and enables them to manage document actions at each step, resulting in significant time and cost savings.

Workflow Configuration

While many workflows are linear, there are several ways in which organizations can configure their workflows that enable them to incorporate their review and approval processes.  Review and approval workflows start when managers identify the needs, constraints, and deadlines of a project.  Once identified, the workflow administrator or project manager (creator of the workflow) needs to identify key members of the team (typically experts of specific disciplines) to review and approve/reject the drawings and documents created/updated by the team.

Once the needs have been identified, the administrator can determine whether the review process includes multiple reviewers, and whether they should include a majority or unanimous voting process. The type of voting depends primarily on the document in question and the compliance requirements of the organization. (Majority voting consists of more than one reviewer assigning their approval among a group of reviewers.)  Since the software enables authorized third-parties to access the system, software administrators also can determine which members should be included in the vote.

When creating a workflow, administrators should clearly define goals and timelines, specifying progress in the workflow. (Progress can even be established on an accrual basis that can be used to invoice clients.)  ImageSite’s workflow builder enables organizations to display progress as a percentage at each step, providing managers and workflow participants with a clear understanding of what work remains and what has been completed.  Workflow creators should ensure that progress is based on the effort it takes to complete each step, rather than the actual number of steps in a workflow.

Workflows for Reporting

Workflow management software helps organizations create feedback loops and gives managers the ability to monitor employee actions, identify data silos, and optimize their workflows accordingly. Creating efficient workflows helps organizations complete projects more quickly, allowing them to focus on other tasks at hand.  Since every workflow is located within the system, managers can monitor employee communications to ensure workers are collaborating, yielding better results.

Audit trails enable system administrators and project managers to view all actions taken within the system within a preconfigured engineering workflow or anywhere else in the system.  Not only does this enable them to spot inefficiencies, but also helps to spot nefarious actions within the system, either by unauthorized users or by those abusing their privileges.

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ImageSite and Engine-Box

ImageSite and Engine-Box (the Cloud version of ImageSite) are eQuorum’s robust engineering workflow and document management solution.  Our document management software provides organizations with a variety of tools for managing their essential files, documents, and workflows.  Users can collaborate over files and documents from any location, whether in the office, at a job site, or on the production floor.  Because there is no client software to download or any mobile app to download it is exceptionally easy to deploy. Simply access the system using your device's browser.

Engine-Box is available with subscription pricing, so you only pay for what you need, perfect for project work.

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