Nathan Sykes, Founder, Finding an Outlet
Workflow management plays a pivotal role in a business’s success. Being able to identify hang-ups in your workflow can be the difference between success and failure. However, spotting these hang-ups is usually not easy and can be impossible without having proper workflow management in place.
Improving your company’s workflow should be a priority. Fortunately, there are several changes you can make this month to elevate workflow immediately, identify problems and improve team productivity and efficiency.
1. Strive for Optimization
First, it’s important to recognize an optimal workflow. A fully optimized workflow helps in providing solutions to problems before they even arise. This results in promptly addressing the issue by immediately identifying who’s assigned to the task, what happens if they aren’t available, who else needs a notification and what happens regarding a follow-up.
An optimized workflow assigns the task to those with skills that align with the work, as well as providing a logical, sequential order for completing the task. Such a workflow will help reduce paperwork and encourage collaboration among various departments, in addition to tracking progress and making future success repeatable.
2. Avoid Multitasking
Workflow management should hone in on single tasks at a time, instead of attempting to multitask. Studies show that working on multiple complex tasks at once obstructs daily workflow, since your brain isn’t too fond of switching back and forth between tasks. Focusing on one task at a time will help maintain a steady workflow and help avoid distractions. If you’re noticing a disruption in workflow, it may be due to assigning too many tasks at once.
3. Make Roles and Tasks Very Clear
Huge disruptions in a workflow can occur if team members are not sure of their roles and tasks. Use meetings and workflow management software to clarify roles and tasks strongly. Ideally, employees should also know how long a particular task will take. With knowledge of this time, they may be able to identify potential flaws in the result if they find themselves taking too long to complete the tasks, or feel as if the task’s completion came too soon.
4. Utilize the Process Approach
Companies can use process management and the process approach to improve their productivity and workflow. The process approach involves management of key business processes that directly impact the ability to serve consumers. A process ranges from small tasks such as entering data into a computer to a larger process, such as an entire department devoting their time to a particular task. Monitoring the results of how processes add value to a business can help clarify improvements.
5. Provide a Central Hub for Projects
Transparency is a great tool when improving workflow, since universal knowledge of what each team member is working on can help to delegate tasks and reassign them if necessary. Collaboration software helps team members mark their project status in real time, providing the entire team with insight regarding when a particular task will be complete. Team members can also mark delays, helping to avoid unforeseen disruptions that can cause havoc to workflow.
These five strategies can help improve your company’s workflow in just a month. An improved workflow will lead to better collaboration, increasing efficiency and quality of work by helping you identify and respond to problems.