To put it in simple terms, a workflow is a sequence of processes that leads a product from inception to completion. From to do, through in progress to done.
If only it were that simple in real life!
To put it in real-life terms, a workflow is a branching path of processes, sometimes unnecessarily complex, circular and exhaustingly overwhelming. The wrong or disorganized workflow can put an early end to even the most viable projects, destroy teams and put companies under. Dramatic but true — and proven such through numerous real-life examples.
After all, a quality product is, at least, one that does what it says on the tin, so to speak. However, quality doesn’t necessarily end there.
A true quality product does its task in an efficient, painless way, minimizing clutter and chaos and emphasizing a streamlined user experience. A good workflow stresses these qualities at every step, and gives the developers enough time, means and focus to deliver more than it is expected of them.
That’s why it’s necessary for a workflow to be structured and adjusted not only for individual projects, but for individual teams as well.
It’s the responsibility of the project manager and senior developers to tailor the workflow to not only remove possible bottlenecks, but also to use the strengths of individual team members.
Quality control is absolutely crucial — but it should not be excessive and overwhelming as to slow the progress down. The team as a whole benefits from each other’s experience, and each team member should contribute to quality control on their own.
A typical workflow at Vivify Ideas looks something like this: to do > in progress > code review > manual testing > done, with two additional quality assurance steps which ensure optimal pace. Visualizing the workflow helps immensely, and it is encouraged.
If the projects involves an UI/UX framework, design mockups, wireframes and even prototypes are sometimes included to better anticipate a quality user experience.
Even after all this, it’s difficult to say there’s a set way to do things. What works for one team or project, doesn’t necessarily work for others — a workflow is a fluid, evolving pattern adapting itself to different times and styles, and keeps pace with the most recent advancements in technology and management.
Keep it simple and structured, and you’re on the fast track to a great product!