“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” -Bill Clinton
Productivity is something you want to work on all the time. Keeping the pace of a car at 70 the whole ride home is not easy. There will be traffic lights, there will be slower cars in front of you. When we work on creating a functional workflow we rule out these obstacles.
As leaders and managers, we need to be watchful of the progress our team is making. Because the bottom line is that productivity rules everything. Do you want to manage time better? Work on productivity. Do you want better sales numbers? Work on productivity.
But after some time, the old workflow is bound to get stale. There are always going to be newer, different problems that will hamper the productivity at your workplace. Therefore, it is important to identify the cause of problems in your workflow.
If you are here, I’ll assume you have already started to notice things coming off the seams. Well, fret not because I have listed down all the situations that can come your way with some ways to modify your workflow to encourage productivity and inspiration.
Inability To Meet Deadlines: A more than apparent situation will come in the form of your team not being able to meet the weekly, monthly, or quarterly deadlines. Getting to the root of it, you will find that somewhere along the line the guidelines for the task changed and more wiggle room is required to accomplish the new type of tasks that are moving through the old system.
The Fix: Conduct a few test runs to see how long a particular task takes to attempt and figure out . Find the most efficient way to complete it. Determine with the help of your team the most suitable stages that the task has to go through and record the best sequence to incorporate in your workflow for good and quick results.
Lacking The Motivation: This is where it gets a bit complicated. Sometimes when the workflow grows stale, the tasks are perceived by your team as repetitive. This is how a whole team loses interest in their jobs.
In this situation, it will be common to see your team becoming lethargic and showing little interest in their assignment.
The Fix: The thing to remember is that productivity requires constant change. I’d suggest that you break the workflow further into more stages. Using Kanban boards will help them see their progress better and more effectively.
Unaccountability is an ongoing trend: Sometimes a workflow dies out because no one would take responsibility for their tasks and their roles in the project.
I have seen this to happen when people either don’t know enough about the details of their tasks or too many people are involved with a particular project. However the accountability problem will come with many fixes.
The Fix: Bring accountability back into the equation by setting clear objectives for the team. You must give them small goals to look forward to. Analyze the stages of the workflow where they would like to have more flexibility.
Clear expectations along with providing the whole set of instructions will help with restoring productivity effectively.
Reviewing Process Has Gotten Crazier: Workflows are supposed to be all about collaboration. And, problems from the workflow originate when it gets tough for your team to follow the workflow. The supervisors and the team will most definitely start to speak different languages and the work they did will bounce in the reviewing stage forever.
The Fix: This situation tells you how communication gets affected by the workflow. This probably means that the whole department needs to come together to study the nature of the tasks assigned and evaluate why the workflow doesn’t match the nature of the tasks anymore.
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Decline In Quantity Of Work: As managers, we do as the client demands. Even if it means changing the whole direction of the project, we will have to go ahead with it. Using the same workflow for an entirely different genre of the project can be catastrophic.
The Fix: Analyze the type of work your team receives and how much the quantity of the expected product is being produced with respect to the timeline of the project. Set new parameters of quality and establish a new timeline for the project.
Bring goals into focus and look into the individual duties of the employees to make sure the responsibilities have been evenly distributed. Then, you may go ahead to set a workflow that would suffice the new needs of the project.
Carelessness Is The Mainstream: Another sign that your workflow isn’t working properly is that your team seems to lose information and misplace the files. This happens when employees get a little careless with the tasks.
When a process is put to practice for too long, people start taking it for granted. And, somewhere down the line, they stop using the workflow with as much discipline as the project required them to.
The Fix: Making changes to the workflow at this point is the best thing you can do for productivity and motivation. The same old beaten path becomes boring and it’s easy to stray from boring. This is why I would suggest that you create a new more effective workflow that will give them a push to follow directives once more.
Another thing to mention is that there are ways to store files, organize them and sort them through cloud software tech. These will help you store numerous types of files no matter what size for safekeeping and sharing across platforms.
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The End Product Is Not Up To The Mark: Another big, blaring sign of a failing workflow is when the end results are not what you expected or even how much you expected. This happens when the team finds it hard to follow deadlines and track the progress of individuals or teams.
The Fix: Tracking progress is a must. It is also a major reason for creating a workflow. But evaluating the progress gets harder when your team does not follow the workflow, skips some steps, and ignores the guidelines.
I would suggest you get for your team a Kanban tool that helps you track the performance of the employees along with the timeline of the project. A simple employee tracking or time tracking software could also help you a lot with notifications.
To Sum Up
Workflows have not only been an alternative for a time table but also for sharing information and keeping the team in the loop. Setting up a sequence of stages for every kind of task or project as a whole is very important.
This is why you should take care of the workflow and keep evaluating whether it is working out for your team or not. Making little tweaks to your workflow from time to time can help your team be productive and feel motivated at the same time.
Managing and manipulating workflows is easier when you have a reliable task management platform to help you out. So get on it and make some much required changes to your workflow using the best tools to help you as you go.