Workflows are a critical tool that gives teams the necessary structure, clarity and visibility over their project activities and progress. But building an effective workflow is not a one-and-done situation. It takes multiple iterations and revisions before teams can find the sweet spot where workflows are running smoothly and are easily repeatable across their different tasks.
Here are some quick tips to keep your workflow management activities flowing and your projects moving!
What is workflow management?
Workflow management is simply the act of organising, operating and optimising workflows. A workflow is a sequence of tasks that make up a larger task with the goal of producing the desired result or achieving a specific outcome. It is often a set of steps, resources and interactions that can be repeated to achieve the same result.
Workflow management involves the active identification, improvement, optimisation and automation of workflows to help achieve project-wide improvements in productivity, efficiency and accuracy.
Read more: Introductory Guide to Workflow Management
Tip One: Map out your current workflows
To improve on something, you first have to understand it. Mapping out your current workflows and making sure that they can be easily understood by all team members is critical to making sure everyone is on the same page. One way to achieve this is by mapping out your workflows visually and establishing clear documents so everyone can study, evaluate and identify improvement opportunities within the pre-existing workflow.
Tip Two: Documentation is key
The next step to mapping out your workflows is to make sure that all your workflow-related documents are clear and historic versions of the workflow are properly stored, consolidated and organised to act as your organisation’s ‘single source of truth’.
It is important that your workflow related documentation is as clear and specific as possible. Make sure that tasks, inputs, tools and people are clearly described and conditions or relationships between tasks are clearly established. Greater clarity makes it easier to implement and scale the optimised workflow across an organisation.
Tip Three: Regularly audit and adjust your workflows
Once you have your documentation clear, teams should be able to easily pull from your historic data, track the effectiveness of their workflows and make adjustments that will suit their specific needs and gain greater efficiency.
With a proper workflow management solution acting as a ‘single source of truth’, teams can easily schedule auditing sessions where they can discuss their current workflows, the different adjustments they have made and how these changes or optimisation can then be incorporated into their newer workflows. A consistent schedule for workflow auditing, typically on a quarterly basis, makes sure that your workflows have time to be properly utilised before they are updated and ensures they are continually relevant for teams.
Tip Four: Automate Automate Automate
With workflow management solutions constantly evolving, their automation capabilities are also growing. Making sure your teams are up to date with your solutions automations capabilities and making sure they are taping into their full potential is a key way to further optimise your workflows. Make sure to consider the different requirements of your teams and how new workflow automations can be introduced to facilitate their needs.
For example, a financial team could benefit from an automation that streamlines their expense approval process. An operations team could benefit from an automation that integrates their ERP and CRM with their workflow management solution. A HR team can speed up their hiring process by automating their feedback and scheduling activities.
Tip Five: Make sure to provide training
New tools and new processes take some time to get used to. With the rate of technological advancement and software updates, organisations will need to be consistently updating and retraining their teams to be able to make the most out of their solutions.
Consider investing in training resources and activities such as developing a workflow management handbook or producing interactive training videos. Interactive videos are particularly powerful tools as surveys show that 82% of employees state that interactive videos hold their attention better than traditional videos. Keeping your training and resource up to date and engaging also saves your team valuable time that can go wasted trying to look for answers and information on their workflows.
Build your single source of truth with pmo365
Having a powerful workflow management solution on your side can make a big difference to your process and business optimisation activities. Lucky for you, you can start building your ‘single source of truth’ solution with pmo365 right now! Pmo365’s solution consolidates all your workflow and project-related activities onto a single platform so your teams can be as efficient and effective as possible. But the benefits don’t stop there. Pmo365 also helps you:
- Gain complete visibility and control over your portfolio
- Maintain complete ownership over your solution
- Grow as you grow by adapting and building solutions that accommodate your specific and unique needs
- Maintain flexibility with their transparent and fuss-free price packages
If you want to know more about how pmo365 can help take your workflow management activities to the next level, read more about how we work or book a demo with our experts to see the solution in action!