Enhance Decision-Making and Efficiency with Process Tracking

Businesses are constantly seeking new methods to improve their operations. To optimize performance, accountability, and compliance, one method many choose is optimizing their process tracking. This gives companies the means to lay out and orchestrate every process, system, and workflow, all of which are tightly interconnected with the common goal of creating a product.

Let’s examine the transformative potential of historical and real-time process tracking on businesses, along with their ability to empower those businesses to make better-informed decisions.

What is process tracking?

Process tracking is the act of monitoring a process through the course of its lifecycle to analyze its effectiveness on an organization’s operations. In addition to applying several intertwining processes each day to produce goods and services, regulation adherence, and timeliness, those processes must be carefully managed at all times to ensure quality.

Businesses that adopt process tracking software solutions do so to accomplish specific goals, including: 

  • Enhance collaboration.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Identify opportunities for improving processes.
  • Document processes from end to end (often time stamping each process phase).
  • Identify solutions to improve operation outcomes.

They pursue these goals by implementing process automation software to define and track the processes that build business operations.

Historical tracking vs. real-time tracking

Process tracking includes both historical and real-time tracking, each of which provides valuable methods of improving process performance.

Organizations perform historical tracking, also known as audit process tracking after a process is complete. Auditors analyze report logs and verify the performed actions (including the individuals who made each decision, the action they took, and the time that action occurred).

The audit trails generated by historical tracking should contain detailed information on all the organization’s processes, including touchpoints and actions for measuring the process’s impact.

The general purpose of historical tracking is to determine what happened in the past and compare it to what is happening now, thus improving the existing process by learning from the past. Consequently, historical tracking works as a learning tool for team members by helping them compare what they did with what they should have done.

In comparison, real-time process tracking monitors processes as they are running. Workflow-tracking software often provides real-time process tracking by displaying each process update in intuitive dashboards that display a process’s current status and metrics on charts and graphs. 

This format is far more organized and legible than lengthy printed reports consisting of numbers in columns. These dashboards, for example, often display a progress bar for each process that visually illustrates how close it is to completion.

System analysts use real-time tracking more often than historical tracking, primarily because it allows them to make changes before the process is complete. This capability boosts processes to achieve their intended results, whereas historical tracking can only enable corrective actions for future processes. (It should be noted, however, that this makes historical tracking ideal for developing contingency plans.)

Benefits of process tracking

Process tracking is a great way for businesses to optimize their workflows from end to end using proven, standardized metrics. It can entail a simple re-evaluation and adjustment of operations, or a total operations overhaul. The biggest advantages process tracking provides are as follows:

Enhanced visibility

Before process tracking, stakeholders break down each process into phases to discover exactly what each entails. Process tracking software is applied to those findings, monitoring and analyzing data in real time to glean the phases’ requirements and output. When managers study those results, they have a newfound understanding of their organization’s overall performance. 

Process tracking software also automatically records the activities of processes, which helps gauge the effectiveness of each process step. This is extremely helpful for stakeholders; the automated aspect of the system allows it to assess process performance without the need for human action.

Improved decision-making

Process tracking provides data-driven insights, leading to better decision-making. Predictive analytics allows organizations to understand and interpret data without dedicating employee labor to these tasks. Built-in data analytics also yield detailed analyses of the monitored activities involved in each process, empowering businesses with a new level of accountability.

Cost reduction

Cutting costs presents an ongoing challenge for most businesses. Best practices in process tracking help analysts pinpoint inefficiencies and improve performance, thus reducing operating expenses.

In addition, leadership, now equipped with a better understanding of the inner workings of operations, can spot and significantly reduce workflow bottlenecks.

Process tracking standardizes processes, essentially showing business leaders how that process should perform under ideal circumstances. Users can make subsequent changes needed to achieve optimum performance. 

Operating costs are further reduced when the risk of human error is lowered by automating tasks.

Better business operations compliance

The regulations that affect an organization, whether they are issued by a government or a specific industry, are intended to reduce various risks to life and property. Failure to comply can result in lawsuits, fines, and large-scale catastrophes. Process tracking allows companies to build compliance into operations at the process mapping stage, establishing standards and assigning their ownership to specific individuals.

Process automation software simplifies the documentation of regulations, standards, and their necessary actions. Well-documented workflows provide a framework for improving security by protecting sensitive data, business assets, and physical resources from theft or other types of loss.

Challenges in process tracking

Depending upon the business and circumstances, process tracking can present challenges for some users in the realm of security, adoption, and growth. Keep reading for an overview of these issues.

Data security

Recent large-scale data breaches and manipulations have highlighted security as a top priority for businesses. Adopting a process tracking solution can present a conundrum for IT teams maintaining high data security while also allowing a smooth data flow between departments.

Resistance to change

The continual advancement of technology can make it difficult for workers to adapt to the subsequent changes, especially as their duties and daily work life pivot. It’s normal for employees to express reluctance at the prospect of adopting new solutions, especially in large companies with many users.

Lack of buy-in from stakeholders, especially those at the C-suite level, is a noted blocker to successful process-tracking solution implementations. After all, the issues automation is employed to resolve may not be obvious to users. Garnering strong support from leadership as an implementation date approaches is the best way to ensure a smooth transition of systems and duties.


The market instability of the last few years has affirmed that most businesses go through times of growth and shrinkage. The most flexible organizations see far less upheaval during market shifts. Process tracking is a valuable tool for businesses seeking the agility required for scalability.

Process tracking platforms simplify operations by removing multiple unnecessary process steps that consume resources. Their logic-based automations remove manual work like data entry and significantly reduce the risk of costly human errors. 

Streamlined businesses can rapidly pivot strategies – and the goals to achieve them – at critical times to adapt to change. An optimized human resources department, in particular, is essential when the need arises to hire/onboard the right people for new endeavors.

Important process tracking system technologies and features

Your business process tracking needs may not look like those of others, even those from the same industry. The size and scope of a business and the projects it handles are the first factors to consider when searching for a process-tracking tool. The following attributes establish a good jumping-off point for a process-tracking platform search:

Process automation

Process tracking software typically includes automation functions designed to take the burden of repetitive, manual work off the shoulders of employees. Users can assess their own needs and set up automation and conditionals that work best for their processes with no required background in coding.

Automation standardizes processes across organizations, making them easier to manage and secure. It also engenders closer collaboration within those organizations by allowing processes to be executed between multiple departments and branches. Furthermore, it empowers workers by giving them the means to resolve common issues quickly and conveniently while diverting IT resources to higher priorities. 

Integration capabilities

The average business operating today uses at least 12 different apps and software systems, making it essential for any new software to integrate with the existing infrastructure. The best process-tracking solutions coordinate the execution of processes leveraging functions from multiple systems to improve efficiency and customer experiences. CRM, ERP, and frequently-used apps like DocuSign and LinkedIn integrations are no longer perks – they’re necessities.

Data reporting and analytics

Altering business operations to pursue new key performance indicators (KPIs) indicates huge strides toward optimization, but it’s equally important to measure those new and altered processes for success. Process tracking solutions should include powerful data analytics tools to report on performance. 

Most businesses look for real-time reporting capabilities from software that continually monitors data; for organizations looking to forecast market behavior and pinpoint trends early, it’s a must-have feature. This means reports can be generated at the click of a button, delivering the latest numbers and insights. Dashboard analytics are also high on the list of features businesses seek from process tracking tools; they display desired results in the form of charts and graphs on a single screen for rapid and easy interpretation.

Automate process tracking for more reliable results

Increasing operational efficiency should be a goal for any organization, and this begins with its processes. Process tracking software monitors, simplifies, and automates processes to improve overall business outcomes.

Pipefy’s no-code business process automation (BPA) solution delivers the visibility, orchestration, and system integrations that boost existing processes and allow your teams to build and customize any workflow they can imagine. Use them to boost performance and redirect your business’ valuable resources toward innovation and optimization.

Make more strategic decisions with end-to-end process visibility 
Try Pipefy for free

Related articles