To truly encapsulate the importance of a streamlined organizational workflow, the subject needs to be unpacked into manageable segments. Which, once you understand the topic, is somewhat ironic.
Organizational workflow refers to the uninterrupted processes that workers execute daily to complete their tasks or duties. The result of smooth workflow is sustained or increased productivity levels, lower injury rates, and employees who aren’t frustrated. Poor workflow can have a massive impact on all three of those elements.
If your business is struggling in any of the areas above, here are five tips that will help streamline your workflow and improve your processes:
1. Understand The Processes
When it comes to workflow processes, established companies are often at a disadvantage when compared to new businesses. The main reason for this is that older companies tend to fall into ruts with their workflow.
Employees come and go, and the processes are handed down from one person to the next, without evaluating their effectiveness and sometimes even their validity. New employees will complete tasks how they are taught to, even if those methods are old and outdated.
The only way to fix a broken or ineffective process is to understand it. Why is it necessary? Is there a way to improve it? Those are some of the questions that management teams need to ask themselves and their team members. Only then will they have enough insight to make impactful changes.
2. Establish Manageable Priorities
Inexperienced process managers will prioritize every business function. Whilst they may all be necessary functions, and they should be if they get implemented in the first place, there needs to be a hierarchy of needs.
When examining your processes, like ERP system processes, ask your teams to comment – they are the ones doing the work, and they will know better than anyone whether their current workflow is effective. Too many businesses underestimate the value of their employees, both in terms of contribution as well as company insight.
Once you know what the workflow priorities should be, you can move on to implementing ways to achieve those most effectively and efficiently.
3. Implement A Connected Platform
In the modern era of business, connectivity is beyond essential. Every team member needs to work effectively in their team at performing their duties. Everyone needs to know that they are on the same page, working towards the same goals. Implement a connected platform that integrates every required level of business interaction, such as Service Now SAFe – to better streamline functions and improve communication between and amongst your teams.
4. Documentation Is Key
Regardless of how experienced or qualified a person is, no one will remember every step of every process in the workflow. That is why accurate documentation is a must-have for every workplace. All it takes is to start small, document teachable steps and pull reports to assess and evaluate those steps. After a while, documenting will become second nature to your employees.
5. Embrace Automation
After figuring out the steps needed to perform critical tasks, you should now turn to research ways to automate those tasks where possible. Automation streamlines processes by its very nature and reduces the errors made by human influence.
Automation can be the very thing that takes your business to the next level, so take time to research your options.