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How to Improve Team Productivity With Workflow Management Systems

Remote work will only increase collective dependence on technology. So how can your business maintain control and visibility?

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How to improve team productivity with workflow management solutions
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Are you looking for practical ways to improve your company’s workflow management and productivity? Do you want to scale your organization’s workflow to boost output, but don’t know how? This article will show you how seamlessly workflow management can increase your productivity for better ROIs.

Every successful business or organization has a defined, durable workflow management solution or system of implementation. Your workflow solution is a vital element your company must give top priority. Why?

Because it represents your company’s management system or virtual manager that champions each team member’s responsibilities, it assigns tasks and holds everyone accountable. But if you’re new to the system, you may be wondering, what is workflow management? Let us address it a little before going further.

What is workflow management?

Managing workflow or workflow management is the process of automating your organization’s work procedures in various yet effective ways that generate results. It involves planning and mapping out company undertakings and coordinating all essential elements of your company’s framework. 

Also, workflow management means carrying out your most important work in the most efficient,  transparent, and most enjoyable way possible. Therefore, with stable workflow management in place, your entity will benefit greatly from automated techniques that streamline tasks.

Why is workflow management important to your company?

A workflow management solution (WMS) is essential for several reasons. The primary benefits are to streamline work processes, boost team efficiency, and increase ROIs. It enables you to address consumer journeys on all touchpoints to your company’s daily commitments.

As a result, management teams can make smart business decisions and empower employee collaboration for increased productivity. Did you know, roughly 60% of the workforce is using non-company approved apps to achieve this? Why?

Source image: Igloo

Simply put, these tools enable them to be more productive and increase their output. However, it can be challenging to keep track of several third-party tools. That is why your business needs a structured workflow management solution. It helps you organize, monitor, and optimize workflows regardless of the software your workforce is using.

And ultimately, it ensures optimal productivity from team members. Also, since many companies are operating remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some project managers may struggle to assign tasks and keep track of their workforce.

Thus, in an interview with Marc Boscher, Founder and CEO of Unito, he shared his perspectives on the importance of workflow management and why managers and business leaders need to pay attention to how they organize their teams.

Here is an excerpt of his viewpoints:

“Knowing how your teams are organized allows you to flag issues early. If a project is at risk of missing a deadline, workflow management allows you to track its progress, identify where the blocker is, and take action in real-time, as opposed to waiting for the next status meeting, or worse yet, for the post mortem.”

For this, workflow management becomes even more essential for your business to foster team collaboration and improve productivity.

Benefits of workflow management

The most successful companies have clearly defined workflow management systems for business implementation. It allows company heads and project management leaders to enhance their workflow by customizing tasks and tailoring automated business-oriented workflows suitable to their needs—this step either fuel growth or fast-track research and development (R&D) projects.

Thus, let us look at some outstanding benefits of having a durable workflow management system.

  1. Ensure accountability: Workflow management guarantees responsibility through regular communication at every step of a project.
  2. No repetitive task delegation: Unnecessary repetitive work is time-consuming, and workflow management solutions remove or reduce it.
  3. Strengthens responsibility in the workplace: Workflow management ensures transparency. It enables project managers to monitor employee work progression and holds them accountable.
  4. Impressive task management: Workflow management software maps out tasks to the right person, streamlines work, and ensures that everyone is aware of their expectations. Also, it enhances organizational structure.
  5. Encourages effective communication and collaboration: No matter what tools your workforce is using to boost productivity, workflow supports communication and cooperation among team members.
  6. Minimize errors: Everyone makes mistakes, including machines. But workflow management reduces any errors that may occur. And if they happen, it identifies the errors and prevents them from occurring again.
  7. A centralized resource database: With a workflow management solution, multiple data sources get connected into one platform for easy accessibility.
  8. Enhance work culture: By promoting team atmosphere and transparency, workflow management aims to encourage work culture and avoid productivity challenges.

Employee adoption to workflow management and implementation

Before rolling out your workflow solution to employees and team members, it is best to apply the right procedure. Alternatively, do so in the most appropriate manner. Why? Because frictionless employee adoption of your workflow system is essential to your success.

For this, make sure to apply the following steps:

  • Get your team involved while designing any new systems.
  • Ensure easy adoption of your WMS
  • Communicate your desired advancements and successes
  • Recognize potential obstacles and how they might affect your company 

5 Effective ways workflow management solution can help you manage your workforce and boost productivity

So, how can workflow management help in scaling up your productivity while encouraging team collaboration? Let’s dive in:

1. Study your existing workflow

If you already have a workflow system in place, you should take the time to examine it before implementing a new management solution. Why is this approach necessary? Founders and stakeholders build organizations in different formats, and they often change over time. Hence, it will be an excellent opportunity to reevaluate how you distribute resources and allow managers to identify existing flaws in their team’s current workflow. This step is critical to your overall success.

For instance, your company has various departments, such as:

  • Research and development (R&D)
  • Purchasing
  • Production
  • Sales and marketing
  • Human resource 
  • Accounting 

These departments cannot function properly without a defined system in force. However, studying how each department processes their task will help you improve your workflow with optimal results. In view of this, you will notice what issues each division may have.

Nonetheless, analyzing your current workflow also involves speaking to employees to gather as much information needed to rectify any problems that impede your business growth.

Regarding the various departments, Stowe Boyd, Analyst, and researcher at Gigaom, revealed in this article that business and organizational operations that inherently reach throughout these sections are disconnected between various representations within different tools. 

According to Stowe, for companies to succeed, the integration and synchronization of fragmented organizational operations are crucial. Do you agree with Stowe? I do! Why? Because employees face challenges working with unintegrated software, which results in the misconception of what the entire team is doing. 

For this, a viable workflow management system associates the implementation of all parties’ work processes and boosts visibility. Thus, integrating these drivers is essential because it helps project managers see what is happening across various departments.

2. Point out critical areas of focus

Evaluating how your existing workflow stack up with your company’s productivity and ROIs is not all it takes. Instead, it would be best to observe intently and prioritize the crucial areas that need development. The better you watch vital areas, the more improvements you will make in your workflow management systems.

As a result, be alert to any:

  • Confusing instructions
  • Declining incentives
  • Communication breach
  • Unsupported instruments

In that way, you will identify all components that are negatively impacting your existing workflow and rectify them. While developing your new workflow management system, use the critical data from your current workflow to enhance the new one. The outcome will significantly increase your productivity, team collaboration, and ROIs

3. Take advantage of the right workflow management tools.

Why should you care about workflow management tools? Because automation is the future of this digital transformation age. And WMS tools help bring teams and employees together from anywhere worldwide to achieve their goals effectively. These services or software products simplify your workflow processes and optimize your everyday work operations.

For instance, picture your workflow as a tomato plant. Once it reaches a specific size, it needs support, or it will fall over. Most managers are currently standing beside the plant, holding it up with their hands (and sometimes feet) day and night to prevent it from falling over.

These workflow management tools are the structure on which those workflows (tomato plants) can grow and blossom independently. As a cross-tool workflow management solution, the best workflow management software will build and optimize your company workflow from whatever existing tools you’re using.

What are the best workflow management tools?

Your preference may defer, but we use the Unito workflow management solution. And while you will find tons of workflow management tools in the marketplace, below are my top performers.

However, note that your workflow management solution (WMS) can produce three types of workflows. The three types of workflows are:

  1. Sequential workflows
  2. State machine workflows, and 
  3. Rules-driven workflows

Let us examine them a little:

Sequence workflow

A sequence workflow outlines a set of measures that guides one action or process to another. These operations happen collectively in a serial manner. Moreover, marketers always use a sequencing workflow in standard procedures to shape activities, excluding human interference.

State machine workflow

A state machine workflow system differs from sequence workflows because it does not determine a sequence or workflow processes. But this workflow system identifies several application states about practicable changes among states.

Rules-driven workflow

A rules-workflow is established on sequence workflow as the workflow system’s advancements depend on policies and triggered rules. It means that if, for instance, step one has options 1-3 to choose from, your progression to step two relies on the choice you select and its accompanying rules.

Therefore, depending on your company’s needs, you can develop any one of the three systems mentioned here.

4. Document your workflow processes

Why is documenting your process important? Since your goal is to simplify work procedures, amplify team efficiency, and improve ROIs, documentation is crucial to review your business approach. It lets you know that your workflow management solution is useful and produces measurable results for your team and business.

In other words, without a documented workflow, you might not know how efficient your system is, or whether your employees successfully embraced it. Moreover, your recorded workflow makes it simpler to examine all areas, make adjustments where necessary, and apply them. Given this, your teams will have a better opportunity to receive feedback on their performance and improve workplace productivity.

How to document your workflow processes

  1. Determine your overall goals
  2. Describe the scope of the process
  3. Explain the limits and existing obstacles to productivity
  4. Define measures for success and improvement
  5. Create a detailed plan for your optimal outcome
  6. Incorporate stakeholder’s feedback and oversight
  7. Measure results and reevaluate the workflow process

5. Communicate for clarity of tasks and processes

Your WMS is a platform that lets you run your business more smoothly and successfully. But communication is essential and contributes to your overall success. For this, use your workflow to communicate tasks and procedures to all involved. Let everyone understand the project and assigned tasks for accountability.

As a result, you are encouraging a collaborative team effort to get the job done. Nevertheless, some might have questions about certain aspects of the workflow. Be willing to provide answers. Remember, the passing of necessary information allows you to accomplish more success. 

Wrap up

Workflow management has become increasingly essential for your company’s organizational structure, which is crucial in strengthening both growth and effective operations. But remote work has made it even harder for managers to maintain visibility into work that they need. As they begin working from home, people often shift to their suite of tools.

These can quickly slow down projects and lead to miscommunication and imbalance. But your workflow system offers you and your employees a platform to communicate and collaborate more efficiently with the maximum outcome. Thus, if you want to build a durable workflow management system, one of the tools above will help.

What other pointers are we missing? Your comments below are much appreciated!

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