Every entrepreneur begins their dream by looking up to the big brands and corporates that rule the business world. How do they manage to be successful? Do they have a workflow so perfect that it never fails and allow their large workforce to be productive?
If someone believes that they never will, they are wrong. But, if you wonder how thousands of employees are managed and products get launched worldwide with minimal errors, the quick answer is effective workflow management.
You might have heard about Amazon, Google, and Apple expanding their services, stores in the USA, China, Europe, and the rest of the world. Each country has a different culture, unique audience and unless their workforce is highly organized, it is next to impossible to successfully establish a business in so many varied zones.
Be it a completely new organization or someone who has managed to get hundreds of employees, the key tips remain the same for workflow design and management.
- Create a streamlined workflow that moves from one step to another
- Improve visibility so that the big picture can be viewed by the entire workforce
- Avoid smothering employees with redundant work that can be done by AI and computers
- Increase the chances of accountability which boosts productivity and reduces errors
1. Make Your Employees Feel their Freedom
The process of having a good workflow is delegating tasks to specific individuals. While it may sound like more work, the idea allows your employees to feel at ease. Once they complete the job assigned to them, they are no longer bound by the various steps involved in a company.
The ability to complete work and focus on its quality not only improves the quality of the output but also allows them to have more free time. They will not be questioned or contacted for no reason for tasks that are not associated with their pay grade. They will also be personally motivated to take up the task and complete it in time due to accountability.
2. Build the Blocks, One at a Time
The process of building a workflow from the base will be extremely overwhelming for an entire team. Instead of trying to take it all at once, split your tasks into multiple layers and consider them to be individual blocks. Start building it one task at a time with multiple processes and use codenames that are understood by the entire team.
IBM helps their team understand the phase of the workflow they are in at the present and continue to build the blocks until the entire organization’s tasks are handled through a streamlined platform like Cflow.
3. Create a Simplified Documentation
Never let the workflow building process run loose on its own but document it from the beginning. When it starts to move out, of course, you can always pull it back if you have the strings under control.
If not documented, the process could go at a stretch with no way to fix it but rather one has to erase and start from the beginning which is a time-consuming solution.
4. Get Rid of the Digital Mess
Once the decision to organize your workflow is made, the next logical step is to clean up the digital mess. Most companies spend thousands of dollars on server maintenance costs and keep records of their customer or database. At the same time, they fail to look into areas where they could save space and investment made.
The first move is to keep a clear digital desk for both the organization and the employees. It helps organize and know what is to be done on priority. Never hesitate to remove files that are no longer needed or part of your job description. Removing clutter is a big move towards accuracy and productivity.
5. Define the End Product
The workflow should always have a defined end irrespective of whether the employee finishes it or not. Consider what you would like to be seen as the success factor so that every workflow process created can be triggered towards the same goal.
Every organization big or small, brands that have been around for decades have always had a strong impact on its customers. The winning strategy evolves from their ability to focus on quality, variety, or service which is what you should define for your organization too.
6. Allocate Teams to Build it Better
Instead of focusing on one team at all times, it is essential to split up the work so that everyone could participate and help build the workflow. The inputs from different employees, their perspective of the particular task will help get rid of the errors until the right version of the process can be implemented.
7. Test and Trial
There are instances when a newly launched process will instantly fail because the team is unable to comprehend and implement it. Never give up and keep testing it in different environments, make more changes until the actual goal is achieved. There is nothing wrong with making changes to workflow so that it suits the theme of your company.
8. Adopt Automation and Don’t Be Skeptical About it
Most managers worry that automation could affect quality but it is the opposite of what you might have presumed so far through the years. Human employees are always less inclined to do work that is highly repetitive and doesn’t involve much decision making. It often reduces their productivity in the other jobs handled.
However, by introducing automation into the daily list of projects they handle to avoid redundancy, you can encourage employees to focus on the stuff they love the most. They can contribute much better to the team and for the entire organization.
9. Follow Productivity Measurements and Evaluate
The metrics can always be retrieved from software that you use for your workflow management such as Cflow.
It provides everything you need to know including the time spent on tasks, the requester, the documents uploaded, and the overall period it took for the entire job to be completed until it is delivered to the customer or the client. Measurements help evaluate and improve the process.
10. Utilize the Power of the Cloud
Storing data on the cloud is a great way because it ensures the files and processes are accessible for the entire team.
Anyone involved in it will be able to gain access to a crucial file any time of the day or night so that they can continue with the workflow until it reaches its final point.
Besides, it also improves communication and the ability to complete work, upload it to the workflow management tool for easier cloud access at a later point.
Cflow when implemented in the world of workflow designing and management can bring about a change like no other because of its cloud-based solution and ease of creating user interfaces.
The drag and drop workflow solution makes it easier for anyone in the team to create a workflow as per their requirement and continue building on it until each team in your organization is empowered to handle the job while being productive and maintaining consistent quality.