Developing a Workflow
According to Investopedia.com a Workflow is defined as:
“A series of tasks to produce a desired outcome, usually involving multiple participants and several stages in an organization. Workflow describes the sequential steps that comprise a work process in the business environment. In its most comprehensive form, workflow includes the procedures, people and tools involved in each step of a business process. Workflow may either be sequential, with each step contingent upon completion of the previous one, or parallel, with multiple steps occurring simultaneously.”
As I look back on 12 years of working for successful for-profit and non-profit organizations I find that behind every great success story is a great workflow. In many of these organizations I have had the opportunity to be involved in the development and fine-tuning of these process workflows. Each organization is different and requires different levels of involvement based upon the desired outcome, but at the end of the day they all seek to achieve the same goals. Though challenging at times, the benefits of implementing a well thought out process far outweigh the headaches along the way. It is important to take into each team members thoughts into consideration, but ultimately it takes a one or two people making a decision on how things should flow throughout the business you are working within.
Benefits of implementing a good process workflow…
- Better Communication – as a team communication is key. The problem often comes in business with how we communicate. We all communicate in unique ways and this often causes problems in the workplace. By creating a process-oriented workflow, it streamlines how, what, when, and why we communicate what we communicate.
- Better Product – lack of product quality can be detrimental to a business’s success. A proper workflow provides checks and balances for all departments involved ensuring a quality product delivered to the client.
- Efficiency – every second counts. In the small business and non-profit worlds time is of the essence. Working with small teams and in deadline driven environments there is only so much time to give when so much is demanded from each member of the team. Implementing a proper workflow reduces the need to babysit jobs thus creating more time for other clients to enter the stage.
- Greater Profit Margin – who doesn’t want more money in the bank. A poor process, or no processes at all, creates an opportunity for waste of time, materials, and resources. If your team is communicating and more efficiently producing a product, that only means one thing…MORE MONEY!
- Less Stress – no massage required. At the end of the day, a properly implemented workflow should reduce your time spent on projects and reduce the amount of stress induces by things not going as planned.
A workflow is not going to fix all of your problems, nor is it going to let you retire earlier, but it will give you more peace of mind that your business is moving in the right direction. So…take some of that extra money and get a massage because you want to, not because you have to.