All industries have workflow processes that differ from one another. Ultimately, though, the entire operation aims to produce the desired results at every stage.
But as with all activities, there will be impediments to proper workflow implementation. In order to find out at which point these weaknesses lie, one must look at the process from start to finish and compare the desired results with the actual output.
This can be a challenging exercise but a necessary one to identify your workflow’s weak points more efficiently. Learn more about workflows and the ways you can identify bottlenecks to productivity with this article.
A workflow is a visual representation of regular processes and tasks in chronological order. Workers often rely on these systems to accomplish their tasks in a more organized manner.
Depending on what it’s meant for—project management, mapping company processes, product manufacturing, or research—a workflow can be a simple and linear process or it can be composed of intertwined processes.
Workflows aren’t only meant to guide the staff in finding out ‘who does what.’ It’s also meant to optimize productivity and efficiency by getting the desired results within a specific timeframe.
4 Different Ways To Identify Points That Need Improvement In A Workflow
Because a workflow contains details on the persons involved, the specific tasks or activities, the state in which the process is, as well as the desirable outcomes, it can sometimes be complicated to determine the issues with precision, but it’s not impossible. Ahead, you’ll find four ways to spot weaknesses in a workflow.
1. Automate Your Workflow Processes
An intelligent workflow automation platform is the secret weapon in properly identifying weaknesses and chokepoints in your processes. But the platform comes with other benefits and features, too. With a digitized system, you can get rid of repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and get real-time analytics on individual or team performance—overall helping you manage your workflows better.
Business executives can expect to have a better view of the workflows, acquire the necessary tools for accountability and efficiency, and identify the issues to have them rectified the soonest. With less human intervention, leaders can be objective in pinpointing workflow problems and have them amended even before they impact the rest of the workflow.
2. Identify Repetitive Tasks
While waiting for business workflow automation, manually check your workflow process for duplications or repetitive tasks. For instance, if your company relies on worksheets for business and other third-party contacts, it’ll be logical to have a centralized database for these individuals.
But what mostly happens is that different departments keep their own list and update them as soon as they can or not very often at all. Nonetheless, your business is stuck with few different ways to manage and keep up-to-date with the same information.
Duplication not only takes time. It also reduces the productivity levels of all the personnel involved.
3. Spot The Tasks That Take Too Long To Finish
If a stage in your workflow isn’t giving you the results within a specific period, there could be problems that need to be fixed as soon as possible.
Determine which tasks take longer than they should. While there could be many external and internal reasons for work delays, they’re all worth looking into.
Perhaps the reason may be as simple as staff not being familiar with the new onboarding, invoicing, or any other newly installed system. Otherwise, it may have something to do with the dynamics of the team.
4. Talk To Your Staff
Always take time to talk to your staff, especially if you’re in the process of business workflow automation. Doing this is like hitting two birds with one stone; you get to know what their challenges are or how they feel about the workflow and you get to make them feel more valued by the organization.
Set up a meeting or casually approach your staff to ask them how their work is going. Remain open and take time to listen, and you’ll likely find out one of many choke points in the workflow.
No matter the reasons for workflow issues, you’ll likely discover it once you get to speak with the staff involved.
Identifying the weak points in your workflow can sometimes be a challenging task. Organizations are encouraged to revisit and review their workflows both through in-person and automated means.
With the aid of a workflow management system, you can spot issues more efficiently and have them corrected as soon as possible.