Your business can sometimes feel like a chaotic ship. If you overmanage and pull the sails too tight there’s no movement, but if you let the sails loose too much there is no direction. An efficient workflow is like a map. It enables you to take a step back and set the course smoothly, giving you and your crew enough time to implement organizational change and streamline processes.
If you’re ready to cast your worries away and advance your business, follow these steps to start your own workflow:
1. Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm
When you’re beginning to craft your workflow, keep the goal in mind: efficiency. Go through the process that is currently in place and make sure to listen to your crew! You might be surprised to hear how unaligned your team is. Executing this initial step will help iron out concerns and set a consistent ideal so you won’t have to worry about this confusion.
Once you map out the entire process, double check that you have some flexibility in case projects ever hit a chink in the process chain. A workflow will streamline projects, but you never know what a client or a manager might throw at you next so this extra padding is helpful.
2. Identify Flaws
Take a deep look at your workflow and see where delays may have sprouted. Check to see if there are similar or even duplicate tasks. Examine if there are any aspects of the plan that can be done simultaneously instead of chronologically, helping you cut down on time. Is there a place where switching the order would speed up the system? But remember, don’t write off any ideas without careful consideration.
3. Establish Responsibilities
Sometimes, there can be some uncertainty about all the functions of a position. Reviewing employees responsibilities when establishing a workflow is helpful for everyone involved and will enhance clarity. When your workflow is ultimately implemented, there will be no question as to who is supposed to do what in each stage of the project.
4. Assess and Alter
Once you’ve let the system run for a few rounds be sure to regroup. Evaluating the workflow process will help you identify the true factors that are helping you streamline and others that are slowing the project down. What’s working well? Can you consolidate some steps? Should step 4 go after 6 instead for added quality assurance? Once you’ve analyzed the workflow, make those necessary changes.
Creating a workflow can be done fairly simply, but with constant evaluation and iteration, you can reach the productivity sweet spot. As your business evolves and grows, adapting processes for optimum efficiency or introducing new tactics like workflow automation can reflect your company’s ever-changing priorities, which will be the key to long-term positive growth.