At Masterly, we see you as the superhero and we make it our mission to be your sidekick as you aim to grow your business idea from a concept into one superhuman force that can be reckoned with.
When trying to create a business that works well and provides you with all of the value you desire, it is important to get the workflow right. There is no point in having the resources and capability to conquer the world if you are not going to maximize your power to its full potential. Today we are going to take you by the reigns and help you understand how to drive your workflow and your team for success in the business world.
What makes a great business? It is important for us to look into the many ways we can add value to our customer’s lives and make the most of the skills and talents we have available to us. You wouldn’t imagine Bruce Wayne spends his days sending follow up emails when he could be creating innovative technology for the whole world to use, would you?
It is crucial as a business owner to be more strategic in the way you perform your duties and this is what we want to teach you about today.
Why is strategic workflow important?
Strategic workflow is important to get anything done. If you have a team of workers and you don’t utilize them in the right way, a completed project takes twice as long and as a result, you end up losing potential sales. Here’s an example of strategic workflow vs non-strategic workflow.
We have Team A and B, each team has 5 members. Each team has been tasked with writing Monday to Friday on 5 pieces of paper. Every person takes responsibility for writing one of the days. Member 1 writes Monday, Member 2 writes Tuesday, and so on.
Team A: Member 1 writes Monday on all 5 pieces of paper before passing them to Member 2. Member 2 adds Tuesday to each card and so on. This takes around 5 minutes.
Team B: Member 1 writes Monday on the first piece of paper, passes it on, and continues. Everyone is finished within 2 minutes.
As it is apparent, of the two teams, Team B is more strategic because they are giving everyone something to do at the same time, instead of having people wait around for ages while the first member does all of their parts. This is where strategic workflow comes into play.
As a team leader, it is your job to ensure that as many people are working on a project as possible simultaneously, allowing for faster delivery.
Create a healthy work environment
When considering a strategic workflow it is important to think about a healthy work environment. You need to create a workplace that is comfortable, flexible, and adheres to everyone’s needs. If you don’t do this your workers will be unhappy and workflow will slow down.
Learn how to communicate
Communication is the backbone of a business, and when taking on a project there needs to be constant communication. Make sure that you have instant messaging apps you can use between teams throughout the day and consider regular calls and meetings for progress checks.
Use workflow tools
Trello is a great example of a Kanban board. For effective workflow, a kanban board allows you to create different columns to place tasks: to do, in progress and completed. If everyone in the team can access this, everyone can pull 2 items from to do into in progress, and every time a job is done, another one can be pulled from to do, making sure that 2 jobs are being completed by everyone at all times. When a big project is taking place this is a crucial practice.
How to create a workflow chart
When coming up with a workflow plan for a particular project, we need to get creative. Here’s the part where those dusty old highlighters and bright markers in the office drawer will finally see the light of day.
- Find the first step- when creating a workflow chart you should first take a moment to identify task number 1. For example for a marketing campaign, the first step might be identifying the aim of the campaign, whether it be engagements, traffic, or leads. Once you have this task, you can move to the next step.
- Add the following actions- once you have identified task number 1, you can identify the tasks that will immediately follow on from this. This starts to give you a real process to work with.
- Keep going- by now, your beautiful workflow chart should be full of tasks and you may have even started to color code different types of tasks on the chart. Make sure here that every task added is important. It might take you a few attempts to stop your workflow chart looking like one of those crazy crime-solving boards with strings here there and everywhere, but when you manage it will be worth it.
Once you have a chart to follow, your workflow will be much easier to manage. Hang your chart on the office wall as a motivational reminder of the work you have ahead of you (as well as show off your art skills).
Complexity vs Reward
Another thing to think about when you create a plan for your project is complexity vs reward. How complicated is a task, and how much value will it bring to the business? If you were making a side salad for your barbecue, you wouldn’t want to spend an hour creating the dressing, would you? Make sure that when choosing tasks to spend time on that you only choose tasks that will make a real impact on your business. Think about listing every task or project you want to complete and rate them on complexity and reward. If complexity is very high and the reward is low, you should question why you are even doing it in the first place.
When growing your business and making the most of it in these uncertain times, it is so important to exercise strategy and understand what good workflow really means. Call yourself Batman and let us be your Robin as you navigate the business world and conquer it.