Here are the common challenges faced by teams without a good workflow.
Losing productive work hours – work teams that spend their work hours on low-value tasks lose out on their productivity. Employee engagement is adversely affected when they are made to engage in unproductive work. Team members waste their productive hours on mundane activities, hence, lose focus on important strategic activities. Less time spent on productive activities in turn brings down the productivity of the team.
More room for errors – labor-intensive processes are ridden by errors and inconsistencies. Most humans are susceptible to making 3-6 errors per hour. Such high error margins sabotage the business processes that run the business. Lack of a proper team workflow design results in increased errors and inconsistencies.
Training costs – without a streamlined workflow, the roles and responsibilities of team members are unclear. Lack of a proper onboarding workflow results in the employees not being familiarized with their roles and responsibilities. Some of the detail;s regarding the work environment may also be missed out during onboarding. This increases the need to train employees extensively to make up for the lack of proper onboarding. Extensive training incurs high costs for the organization.
Lack of accountability – each member of a work team must be clear on their role within the team. In the absence of a streamlined team workflow, the team members are not clear about their roles. When a particular task is delayed or missed out, it becomes difficult to find out who is accountable for manual business processes. Lack of communication in a manual workflow is another challenge faced by work teams.
The lack of a proper team workflow paves way for concussion and inefficiency in an organization. A good team workflow design ensures that all tasks are assigned to the right team member and are completed on time. The transparency and visibility within the process improvement with a good workflow.
Workflow management and Team Work
In this age of digitization and globalization, business operations are no longer restricted by geographical boundaries. A good team manager will be able to coordinate and arrange team activities so that team members stay on track and work collaboratively from scattered work locations. Where there is a process team there is a workflow. Workflow is essentially a set of actions or tasks required to get an assignment or project completed. Proper order of execution of tasks in a workflow is essential to complete a project/process successfully.
What is workflow management? Workflow management may be defined as the process of organizing, documenting, tracking, and optimizing the team’s workflow so that desired results are achieved as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The following details are taken care of by workflow management –
* What needs to be done
* When does it need to be done
* How it needs to be done
* Who needs to do what
A team workflow is a sub-workflow of a main project workflow, and it is associated with a team. Team workflows are useful where there are multiple teams working on the same project and teams prefer working in their own ways.
The steps to creating a good team workflow are mentioned below.
Establish boundaries – the most important thing about team workflows is to clearly define the beginnings and the endings. Having a clear start and end to the team workflows helps clearly define them. Controlling workflows is easy with clearly defined boundaries. A consistent starting point indicates that the workflow is active. A clearly defined end point helps measure the success and efficiency of the process. Drawing boundaries helps you identify the outcome (result) and the starting point (trigger). For example, a sales approval workflow is triggered when a redline request is triggered, and the endpoint could be the receipt of a signed concept.
Identify the components – once the framework of the workflow is established, the next step is to create a list of all the stakeholders, tasks, and information required to complete the process. All those things that hold the work in any way, shape, or form. All those that add value or impact the work, and those that move it along without adding value need to be considered while identifying the components.
Organize the sequence – the next step is to organize the components in a logical sequence. All the components must be connected in a logical workflow order as it happens. Using team workflow software helps create this sequence with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.
Review handoffs – the team workflow must be able to handle handoffs in a workflow. Any point where work changes hands could create bottlenecks in the workflow. Handoffs in the workflow can present vulnerabilities.
Optimize the workflow – team workflows are like machines that require maintenance and fine-tuning for improving process outcomes. Any redundancies in the process workflows or too much back-and-forth communication, or cross-sharing data from other apps and systems require fine-tuning to optimize the performance.
A workflow automation software like Cflow automates repetitive tasks and streamlines process workflows. It is a no-code workflow automation software that can automate any business workflow within minutes.
5 Ways Workflow Management Improves Team Collaboration
Workflow management is essential for the successful implementation of day-to-day business processes. Team workflows standardize the entire workflow and optimize team performance.
Here are 5 ways a workflow can help improve team collaboration –
1 – Keeps everyone on the same page – streamlined workflows keep a clear path of communication within the team. Clear communication paths prevent confusion, miscommunication, and misunderstanding within the team. Project teams that are scattered in various locations can collaborate seamlessly via team workflow software. Role clarity and accountability are other advantages of using workflow management software for better team collaboration.
2 – Helps teams utilize their time better – workflow software helps teams to utilize their time better. According to SIS International Research, 68% of employees waste their time waiting for information from team members, resulting in an average wastage of 3.5 hours in a week. Repetitive admin activities are time-consuming and labor-intensive. Automating such tasks relieves the teams from such activities, rather enables them to focus on meaningful and strategic tasks.
3 – Streamline daily activities – removing redundancies and repetition from process workflows can be done via workflow automation. Unorganized processes result in a waste of time and effort. A good workflow design helps in standardizing business workflows so that time and effort are not wasted on redundant processes. The costs associated with repetitive tasks are considerably reduced by automation.
4 – Reduces time on the follow-up – team leads and managers spend a considerable amount of time on follow-up and review of data. Too much time is spent on approval of requests. Moreover, team members are not aware of the status of their requests. Team workflow software issues automatic notifications and alerts to team leads and managers about pending approval or review requests.
5 – Improves visibility – manual workflows are ridden with undue delays and zero visibility. Team members are unaware of the status of the request and the timelines for approvals. Automating key business processes improves visibility and transparency within the process. Team members are fully aware of the status of their requests and team leaders or managers are automatically alerted of pending approvals.