10 Steps To Streamline Work Process And Improve Workflow
Let’s admit it. As business people, we all have the annoying habit of overcomplicating things, particularly when it comes to running a business or a project. Whether its work allocation, quality inspection, project monitoring, or simply going through a to-do list, project managers and teams often complicate processes which are easy to implement. Now, the easiest way to make things right is to put a work management software in place, identify where you are wasting your time, streamline the work process, and find opportunities to improve your workflow. So, how should you go about it?
In this article, we’ve pulled together a simple 10-step process to streamline the work process and develop an efficient workflow that will help you power up your productivity.
Step 1: Analyze the current workflow
You might find it a bit strange but most of the businesses out there don’t know much about their work process. That’s why the first step towards improving workflow is to list every process and then do a thorough analysis. You need to know how each process in every division or department of your business operates. Your goal here is to figure out how you have been operating so far and what you have been doing wrong. Talk to your employees, ask them for their feedback on each process or workflow that your business follows. Analyze every aspect and document every detail for the upcoming steps.
Tip: Use kanban boards in ProofHub to boost visibility across work processes and create more flexible workflows.
Step 2: Identify key areas of focus
Once you are done analyzing your current work process, it’s time to look for opportunities to improve. Keep your eyes open for any waning motivation, unclear instruction, or communication break down. Identify factors that can or that are affecting the effectiveness of your existing process or workflow. Fill in the gaps and create a better version of your work process. Make sure that your new and improved workflow has no loopholes.
Step 3: Break down the process
The next step in this process is to break your work process into smaller, more manageable steps. Remember, the simpler the better. Most of the businesses today are all caught up in the dependencies and decision points within any given project because their work process is too complicated. Keep your process simple, break it down into discrete steps and aim simply towards the desired outcome.
Step 4: Prioritize work
Next, you need to rank each process on the basis of its importance. Take a good look at the list of processes you have and rate each process on the scale of 1 to 10. 1 being the most important process and 10 being the least important process. Doing this will not only help you keep your workflow properly maintained but it will also help you achieve the best outcome at the end of each process.
Step 5: Document everything
Let’s be realistic. You can’t carry out every process or task from your memory. You need to lay out every step included in the process that you are following in order to get work done effectively. There is no need to be formal, just scrawl down each step of your current workflow on a piece of paper. Don’t assume anything without proof. Document what’s really happening and make sure that things are working exactly as they should.
Tip: Create a central place for all your project specific files and documents. Get on board with ProofHub’s online file management system.
Step 6: Automate the work process
Care to guess the most common element that businesses use these days to track and manage their workflow? The answer is modern work management software solutions. It’s no secret that the process of getting a project/task delivered is prone to data errors and miscommunication. However, the good news is that there are tons of powerful software, tools, and apps out there, including ProofHub, SharePoint, ProWorkflow, Jira and more that are specifically designed to help businesses and teams streamline their processes and workflows. These simple tools and apps offer advanced features and capabilities that make the complex business process easier than ever.
Step 7: Test your new workflow
The best thing you can do to identify the effectiveness of your new, improved work process or workflow is to test it. To do this, you will have to evaluate how it responds to the live workplace environment. For example, you can consider applying your new workflow in an upcoming project and see how each element of your process works.
Step 8: Be ready to adjust
Once you have tested your new workflow in the live workplace environment, be ready to make improvements based on your results. New things do take time to implement, so don’t be impatient. Evaluate the effectiveness of each process in your workflow and make sure that everything works brilliantly. If you need to make a few adjustments along the way, do it.
Step 9: Put your new workflow into play
Now that you have tested your new workflow and made the necessary improvement, there is no reason to delay its implementation any further. But make sure that you explain every aspect of your new workflow to your employees before you put it into play. It is important that everyone understands how the new workflow works and what they can do to get the most out of it.
Step 10: Refine, refine, refine
No work process or workflow is perfect — we all know that. Therefore, once you have made improvements in your existing work process or implemented the new workflow, be ready to refine it over time. Again, there are workflow management solutions that make it easy for you to refine your workflow and adjust to the changing work environment with simple drag and drop.
Tip: Always be one step ahead! Gain clear insights into your work processes and workflows with ProofHub’s online reporting feature.
Hopefully, these ten steps are helpful. Of course, we understand that putting these steps into actual implementation is going to take a lot of your time and efforts. But the good part is that it will help you improve the work process you already have.