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Workflow Model as a Cornerstone for Optimizing the Processes

Workflow Model as a Cornerstone for Optimizing the Processes

Carefully crafted workflow models are synonymous with efficient business output. We all want to watch our company operate like a well-oiled machine. We all want to see projects completed without a hitch. We all want projects delivered to clients like toys leaving Santa’s workshop. Well, streamlined workflows are the solution.

Carefully crafted workflow models are synonymous with efficient business output. We all want to watch our company operate like a well-oiled machine. We all want to see projects completed without a hitch. We all want projects delivered to clients like toys leaving Santa’s workshop. Well, streamlined workflows are the solution.

To develop your workflows, you’ll need to learn what makes a great model. Task-specific workflows apply to any business, of any size. In this article, you’ll learn some techniques for best practice when building or improving your workflows.

Tips for an Effective Workflow

Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity. Whenever you’re creating a workflow for a specific task you must ask yourself the question: Can the task be explained in 1 or 2 simple sentences? If you can’t, the goal you’re trying to achieve could be too complex. It’s important to stress the importance of a simplified workflow because overly convoluted tasks can do more harm than good.


When you’re putting together your workflow, limit the number of ‘decision making’ steps. Decisions are often subjective and lead to inconsistency. If a decision is unavoidable, make sure that you’ve created a decision specific tangent to your model.


Now, let’s dive into workflow common practices in more detail.

Brainstorm

Do not attempt to rush this process. The brainstorm is the foundation of your workflow model. To begin the process, gather input from colleagues with different responsibilities. Draw input from managers, the technical team, colleagues, or HR team. The more angles you can acquire, the more comprehensive your workflow will be. Colleagues who carry out the specific task regularly can provide some of the most valuable insights. Their unparalleled subject expertise with the task in hand can be useful for simplifying problems. Problems that may otherwise seem complex to the average manager.


Try to forecast any potential roadblocks along the way. Ask questions to colleagues. Try to understand the common issues that most face. Incorporate the solutions into the workflow. You’ll be surprised how difficult it is to maintain a simple workflow. As multiple voices chip in, get into the habit of saying ‘No’. Saying ‘Yes’ too often to suggestions will rapidly confuse things.


Once you’ve finished brainstorming, try to challenge your model. If your company has been carrying out this task in the same way for a long time, this is the perfect opportunity to identify areas for improvement.

Simultaneous vs. Sequential

A common reason for dysfunctional workflows is unnecessary delays. Waiting periods can often be avoided by identifying which tasks can be completed at the same time. A streamlined workflow will iron-out these speed bumps by maintaining productivity. If a piece of work requires approval, perhaps this step of the process can be completed earlier. In the meantime, work can begin on a different task.

Optimize UI

The workflow management system you decide to use should be simple and easy to navigate. Bear in mind, every new employee will need to get to grips with the software. Thus, the simpler it is, the sooner they can understand it.


Try to eradicate excessive information which can clog up the workflow. Do not allow the workflow to become overloaded with irrelevant content. At the risk of sounding like a broken record - keep it simple. There should be a clear chain of events towards reaching the desired goal.

Be Specific

Without outlining each and every task, and assigning these appropriately, you run the risk of plotholes. Gaps in your workflow will result in delays, workarounds, and re-working. You may feel as though you’re becoming too detail orientated, but there really is no such thing in workflow modelling.


Use permission tools to delegate tasks and responsibilities clearly. Without this kind of clarity, employees can easily skip important tasks. It should be clear when/if work needs to be handed over to separate departments.

Test and Refine

After you’ve completed all of the steps above, there’s still a chance that something has been missed. Don’t be afraid to launch a new workflow, but be prepared to make improvements along the way. Communicate with your team, ask them to flag up any issues that they experience. Collect data as you progress. Compare the work you produce to the work that you expected when you created your workflow. Are you happy with the result? Did it take longer than you expected? 


Once the workflow is up and running, it is never truly finished. Your company is constantly evolving, so your workflows should too. The moment a workflow becomes outdated is the moment that it ceases to function.

Workflow Models and AhoyTeam

Throughout this article, we’ve repetitively stressed the importance of simplicity. That really is the secret to success, but it’s an uphill battle. The simpler you want something to be, the more work you’ll need to put in. So put on your workflow boots and get hiking.


With AhoyTeam, you can create custom workflows in Slack. A priority when choosing your workflow management tool should be its ability to integrate with your favourite applications. That’s why AhoyTeam offered seamless integration with over 15+ third-party software programmes such as Jira, Asana, Gmail, and many more. You can find a full list of AhoyTeam integrated software here. Contact AhoyTeam today to build your custom, task-specific workflows.


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