For a company to have a smooth operation, it must follow certain steps and procedures. Creating a workflow enables the organization to promote efficiency. But, sometimes workflows need some tweaking too. You only make a change if the change improves the workflow to suit your business needs.
In this blog, we are going to list some of the popular workflow optimization strategies, to make your business perform better.
Definition of Workflow
A project usually has many small tasks that your organisation should complete. To obtain better results, it is often advised to arrange the tasks in a favourable way. Organising each task in the project timeline makes up the workflow of a project.
Not only a project, but any process in a business also takes place by referring to the workflow. When your employees have a standard set of instructions for all the work they do, they tend to spend more time working. It reduces the time spent on choosing the right way to do it.
In workflow optimization, you focus on increasing efficiency by making changes to the existent workflow. It involves a lot of testing and evaluation before application.
Top 10 Workflow Optimisation Strategies
The following are some of the commonly adopted techniques to increase the efficiency of the workflow. Therefore, boosting productivity within your organisation.
Opt for the Right Tools
Within an organisation, there need to be modern tools that enhance productivity and simplify manual labor. Employing the right software for each department paves a simpler way towards success. By using automation tools, you can greatly simplify your workflow and save time. There is software available for almost all departments within an organisation. E.g., project management software, CRM(Sales Dept.), Marketing automation(Marketing Dept.), etc.
The following are some of the important factors you must be looking for when choosing any software:
- Features: Before reading the review of every software, you must visit the software provider’s website to learn about its features. Knowing what the software offers, will let you have realistic expectations.
- Business requirements: After going through the features, look at how each tool will help you improve your business. But before you do that, be sure to list all your requirements.
- Compatibility: Always go for software that has multi-platform accessibility. And also look for software that can integrate with the software you already use.
- Price: Even if everything else is to your desire, never forget to check the price tag. Always remember that there are hundreds of options available at a price that suits businesses of all sizes.
You are reading workflow optimization strategies to make your business easier. Why not rely on tools that automate every step of your business? Automation tools play a vital role in today’s business. Every successful business in the market is automating its routine tasks.
You just have to build your workflow in the software. The software will start assigning the tasks based on the workflow created. Automation can help you in the following areas:
- Email automation.
- Social media autoresponder.
- Lead scoring.
- Deadline assignment.
- Inbound marketing.
By automating routine tasks, your employees can focus on important tasks that improve productivity.
Create Redundancy Plans
Your workflow must serve as the go-to document in case of plan failures. Creating a foolproof workflow where every process is safe from failure is critical. When one process fails, there must be an alternate plan ready to maintain efficiency.
For example, a powerful anti-virus system eliminates the risk of any malware attack. Thus saving a lot of recovery time.
Ensure that you have well-defined security measures that prevent the workflow from failure. In case of any drastic failures, your employees will know where to look for redundancy plans.
Bottlenecks are areas in the workflow that cause a drop in productivity. One of the primary workflow optimisation strategies is to run regular performance tests on the workflow. These tests reveal the areas in the business process that need optimisation.
By pointing out the mistakes in the early stages, you can avoid any future repercussions. Another reason for stagnated workflows is poorly engaged employees. Constant evaluation of the employees ensures that everyone plays their part.
One of the primary reasons for stagnation is the lack of communication. Communication channels do exist within an organisation. But it is rarely effective. So, it is important to establish a centralized platform for communication. A platform that facilitates the tracking of each file transfer and conversation. Smoother communication ensures a smoother workflow.
You might consider it unimportant to include roles in the workflow. But mentioning who performs each task and to what extent is one of the easiest ways to elevate accountability. Specific roles ensure that employees do not burden themselves by doing other’s work.
No distinct mention of roles brings about confusion and repetition of work. Both are extremely time-consuming. Also, be sure to delegate the right work to the right person.
Most employees find micromanagement an annoying trait of their manager. When there are no specific responsibilities mentioned, the manager is the one who steps up. The manager must depend on micromanaging techniques to keep the employees engaged. A distinct workflow that specifies roles prevents the need for micromanaging employees.
Divide the Workflow
Workflows for businesses that have complex operations are always so huge. Maintaining them becomes a hectic task, and you might want to assign a specific role for that. One effective solution to this problem is dividing the workflow into smaller ones.
Smaller workflows are easy to manage and make changes. You can also divide the workflow based on its priority, department, and much more. With partitioned workflows, you can easily track the progress of every small task.
Workflows used to be boring, long, and tough to understand. But due to the integration of software in every sector, the situation has changed. With powerful workflow builders, you can easily create visual workflows. They are easy to understand and faster to create.
In addition to workflows, you can also create Gantt charts that indicate each task and its time duration. Another advantage of using digital workflows is that making changes becomes easier. You no longer have to assess all the effects a change in workflow makes. The software can report the implications the change has on the overall workflow.
A project’s lifecycle is always uncertain. You can never fully predict all the future failures that might occur. So the workflow should adapt to a favorable path. All you have to do is evaluate the process regularly. So that you can predict what might happen in the given situation.
All your workflows must have a step that suggests timely evaluation. Even after constant monitoring, some problems might occur. But it is quite natural for a project to be unpredictable.
Establish Standard Procedures
For a company that has been around for a long time, it is normal to have standard procedures. Similarly, even for newer companies, it is best to standardise certain procedures. It reduces the confusion of selecting the right way to perform a process.
Standard procedures streamline the workflow and increase efficiency. In the workflow, introduce a section for standard methods. Every action taken within the organisation becomes more efficient and quicker after standardisation.
Workflows are only effective when your employees have the enthusiasm to do it. Overworking your employees will result in burnout or even employees leaving your organisation. It will set you back a few steps. Manual task assigning makes it difficult to monitor the work of every employee.
Using a task management tool, you can monitor the tasks assigned to each employee within an organisation. When people work to their full potential your productivity is sure to soar. It also reduces delays in delivering the project.
Benefits of Workflow Optimisation
Surely altering the workflow regularly reduces the risks by a considerable amount. So, let us take a look at how it benefits an organisation as a whole.
- Boost productivity.
- Increased coordination between teams.
- Your organisation completes more projects than it used to.
- Transparency of the business process.
- Saves time by automating repetitive tasks.
- Eliminate bottlenecks in the process.
- Prevent task isolation.
- Minimises employee training time.
- Reduces errors within the process.
- Better alignment with the business goals.
Workflows can either be the rise or fall of the organisation. Before making changes to your workflow, ensure that you have the necessary reasons to implement the change. Because changes in workflow usually receive a negative response from the employees. To avoid any mishaps, it is better to make a full-fledged investigation of the workflow.
However, effective workflow optimisation strategies when implemented the right way promotes efficiency and productivity. Thereby making your organisation successful.
Guest blog by PeppyBiz
PeppyBiz is one of the leading SaaS providers offering business solutions of all kinds. Our products offer a range of tools that make your everyday business healthier. Visit our website today, to know more about our products and services.