Is your team’s workflow all smooth sailing or mostly choppy waters? Organized or cluttered?
Hopefully it’s the former. Because according to BonitaSoft, bottlenecks cause low morale, missed deadlines, angry customers, lost revenue and regulatory issues. And the main culprit? 37.4% of the time, these bottlenecks are caused by “unclear processes.” Poor (or in this case, unclear) business processes=poor workflow. And poor or inefficient workflow causes those missed deadlines, low morale, angry customers, lost revenue and regulatory issues.
You see, business processes are the things that make up your workflow. They are what determine whether or not your workflow is efficient. In other words, workflow is the automation of your business processes. Once you improve those business processes, your overall workflow will improve, as will your efficiency.
Here are the four steps to get there.
1. Examine Your Current Processes
Before doing anything, take a good, hard look at the current processes you have in place. Do you even have business processes in place?
If you aren’t sure, ask yourself this: Would an outsider be able to jump in and perform their job without (or with little) assistance? If not, that might be a sign that some things need to change.
You may think that you have got everything down pat, only to find that you are wasting hours of your day on little things that could be automated.
Get your team together and write down each business process that makes up your team’s workflow. Then ask yourselves: what can you do to make those processes more efficient? Get every person on your team to contribute.
2. Create New Processes
Once you’ve identified your current business processes and come up with ways for how they can be improved, it’s time to create new ones. Is there anything that you and your team can do, that you’re not already doing, to streamline your workflow? What gaps do you and your team see?
For starters, if you aren’t already doing so, document and standardize your policies and procedures, so that everyone on your team is on the same page.
Get your team to create how-to videos, so that the onboarding process is more efficient and less time-consuming for everyone on the team.
Automate your emails whenever possible. Create email templates and load them into a CRM (customer-relation management) system, so that you don’t have to take the time to respond to every single email you receive.
Get your team on a task management system, like Teamwork (which our team uses) or Asana. This will help to keep each team member organized and accountable for their tasks.
3. Test Your Processes
Once you have identified the processes that need to be improved upon, along with the new ones that you and your team decide to implement, test them out. Determine what works and what doesn’t. And then tweak accordingly.
4. Keep Evaluating Your Processes
One of our mottos at SUCCESS agency is always improving process (along with always growing and always serving). By that, we mean: continuously evaluating our business processes and looking for ways that they can be improved upon.
And that’s all there really is to it. If you try this out only to find that your team’s workflow is still all choppy waters and clutter, get in touch. We’d love to help. And get it to be smooth sailing.