Getting things done can be hard; we all know this to be true. There are always tasks that we need to do and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get them all done efficiently.
Thankfully, there are tools and processes we can use to make our lives easier. One of these is called workflow design which is a system for designing processes so they are more efficient. It’s not just about saving time but also making sure the process is easy to follow so everyone involved can contribute their skills, experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the task at hand.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to implement workflow design into your life and gain an understanding of what it means for you and your business.
Get started with workflow design
In order to get started with workflow design, first you need to identify and define the tasks and processes within your business. Once you have a list of what needs to be done, it’s time to start designing!
You can do this by breaking down each task into individual steps and visualizing the process as a whole. This will help you see where any potential problems lie and allow you to fix them before they happen.
For example, let’s say that one of your tasks is writing an article for your blog. To develop a workflow for this task, break it down into individual steps. The first step would be coming up with topics for articles. Next would be researching those topics and gathering data. After that, drafting the text and beginning formatting.
Each step should include what exactly needs to be done and how long it should take (in hours). Then you can use these estimates to create a timeline for the entire process, showing when things should begin and end so there are no surprises or mistakes (and everything gets done on time!). Using software to help you automate parts of your workflow can be very beneficial as well.
Create a process map
The first step in designing any work flow is to create a process map. A process map is a diagram of the steps in the process you are designing. It’s like a map for your employees to follow when completing tasks. Step 1, step 2, step 3, etc can be plotted out in a straight line, from the first draft of a document to the submission of the document, to final approval.
Process mapping isn’t always easy but it is essential. This diagram will help you identify all of the steps involved in completing a task and determine what needs to be done before, during, and after the task is done.
The more detailed your process map, the better it can help you determine which tasks should be delegated to others, where problems might arise, and what other processes may need to be put into place.
Once you have a complete workflow design, you’ll want to implement it into your business. The best way to do this is by showing leadership how it can help increase productivity and efficiency.
You’ll also want to take stock of the skills available at your company and assign tasks accordingly while making sure no one person takes on too much responsibility.
Using a linear workflow makes using software like Collavate much simpler, and keeps processes simple and easy to understand.
Draw up a timeline
Workflow design starts with a timeline. This is the map of your process and it will let you know who does what, when, and how long each task should take.
Drawing up a timeline is critical to your workflow design because it can help you identify where things might be going wrong. You don’t want to invest time into something that just isn’t working and this way, you’ll know what’s not working and why.
There are generally two types of timelines: Gantt charts and Project Management Software (or PMS).
Gantt charts are simpler than PMS but they require more calculation on the part of the user. They generally contain horizontal bars that represent different tasks with their start date and duration on either side. The bars show how long the task takes and their relative order in relation to each other.
PMS applications are far more complex but they’re also much more useful as they can account for dependencies between tasks, offer greater flexibility in terms of project management, provide real-time updates on tasks, assign resources to specific tasks, generate reports on progress made or needed adjustments, etc. This type of timeline is usually reserved for very large, long lasting projects with many people involved. A linear timeline is the simplest way to execute a workflow, and works well with softwares such as Collavate.
Involve your team in the process
Workflow design is a system for designing processes so they are more efficient. It’s not just about saving time but also making sure the process is easy to follow so everyone involved can contribute their skills, experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the task at hand.
In my years as a business owner, I’ve come to meet many people including employees who work in different departments of my company. It always warms my heart when my employees show excitement for a task at hand because it means they’re engaged and interested in our company’s future.
Getting your team involved in your workflow design system will make it easier to implement and ultimately make the process more enjoyable for everyone. Your team is going to be excited to take on new tasks with a strong understanding of how it fits into the bigger picture of what you’re trying to accomplish as a company.
Workflow design is all about getting things done quickly and efficiently so your employees can feel like they’re contributing something valuable. When you involve them in the process, they’ll feel more fulfilled and valued as an employee which will ultimately lead to stronger engagement within your workplace.
Implement workflow design into your life and business
Workflow design is the process of designing processes so they are more efficient and easier to follow. It’s not just about saving time but also making sure the process is easy to follow so everyone involved can contribute their skills, experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the task at hand. With workflow design, you can create a system that allows people to do what they’re good at and then take those tasks and delegate them accordingly.There are many ways you can implement workflow design into your life and business, and one of the simplest ways is to implement approval and collaboration software for your team, allowing your organization to become more organized and transparent.