Most workplaces should run like a well-oiled machine, but in many instances, there’s a long list of burdensome steps and procedures employees must follow in order to complete their tasks. This article will go through the main five steps to follow to create a powerful project workflow, perfect for your business.
A question as old as time in the world of business is, how can we boost productivity? Implementing workflows is the answer! Simply put, a workflow is a clearly defined, sequential process of the optimal way to get things done.
Workflows can be implemented in any situation where you must get from A to B in the workplace, for example for defining milestones, getting through your to-do list, writing content, or dealing with your inbox. So how do we design a workflow?
Read on to discover what they are.
1. Start with the end in mind
Dylan Wayne, a business writer at Lia Help and State of writing tells us- “you want to start with the end in mind. That is, look towards the end goal and then work backwards, so you can figure out the right path to get there. This will help you determine your workflow process.”
Working backwards like this means creating a checklist and ask questions about what your goals are and what are the best practices to employ.
2. Define your workflow
This means creating a realistic workflow diagram, involving the people doing the work. Get the support of your team and sign-off, before adopting the plan for the project. Finally, be sure to match the workflow process to a tool functionality so that the process drives the tool selection, so you’re not constrained by the functions of a specific tool you’ve got available at that time.
Defining your workflow can feel daunting but it can be as simple as drawing a diagram with all the steps you feel would be needed or working backwards by creating a goal and designing a diagram backwards specifying all the steps that you feel would be needed. It’s that simple!
3. Define the roles of each person
As Roy Buck, a project manager at Boomessays and Essayroo puts it, “To make sure your content calendar workflow moves smoothly, you’ll only want certain people to be able to change statuses, approve or reject ideas, and assign issues.”
This means having clear roles within the workflow for each person so there is no confusion over who is doing what at what time and for how long. It’s all well and good to define a workflow process but if people are unsure of what their role is within it, the process will become useless.
4. Optimize your workflow over time
The most successful business workflows are those that are iterated over time to match the needs of the team as time passes. Looking back at your initial workflow and altering it, identifying bottlenecks or dead ends and learning to correct them is the best way to keep your team productive and your workflow as efficient as possible.
When doing your workflow optimization, think of how you can facilitate collaboration between and across teams. Is there a workflow that makes collaboration easier? If yes, make sure to prioritize it.
5. Track your progress
There are a plethora of online tools such as ProjectManager, where you can track the process and progress of different workflows you’ve designed. It’s very likely that you haven’t just designed one workflow but that you’ve devised multiple ones across different teams. It’s important to make the most of these online tools as they have dashboard features that help you track the progress of multiple workflows over time, so you can get a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t.
Overall, workflows are incredibly useful tools that can make the difference between a successful, efficient team and one that drowns in mindless admin tasks that make completing a task unnecessarily long and complicated. Designing workflows doesn’t have to be a horribly complicated process either. Follow these five steps to make sure you’re
accurately designing your perfect workflow and effectively implementing it, and watch your teams do better every day!