What are Workflows and What Are Their Benefits?
If you have read one of our latest articles, “Project Management Glossary: 10 Key Concepts to Know”, you’re aware that most project management terms are worth learning even if you’re not a project manager. This same concept applies to workflows.
To help you understand what a workflow is, we decided to share some of the most common questions we get and the simplest way to answer them.
Question: What is a workflow?
Answer: Even though different people and different industries might have their own definition, a workflow is a sequence of related steps or processes that are necessary to complete a particular task. Often referred to as a business process, a workflow moves work from one stage to another until the job is complete.
Whether you’re in project management, marketing, IT, human resources or sales, there’s always a workflow in progress whether you realize it or not.
Q: What are the main benefits?
A: As project management experts we know that streamlining processes and making task completion easier for your team is one of your main priorities. This is why we believe workflows are a great. Some other benefits include:
– Better aligning tasks with skills
– Identifying redundancy
– Identifying and removing bottlenecks
– Learning and being able to tweak the process to better fit your team
– Better understanding deadlines and task dependencies
Q: How can I implement workflows into my team?
A: Chances are, workflows are already taking place within your team and you don’t even know it! For instance — if you developed a document that needs proofreading, once you are done writing it you pass it on to someone else, then you wait for their feedback, make the changes they suggested and then have someone else read it. Once you’re done with this process, you submit it and move on to the next task. Believe it or not, this is a workflow! The best way to keep doing this is by tweaking it as you go and developing the best processes that work for your team and industry.
Q: Can workflows be used outside of project management?
A: Absolutely! Any task that requires multiple touch points, open lines of communication, meeting deadlines and several team members is basically a workflow. The key is learning how to manage them and how to adjust once each project is over.
Q: What’s the duration of a workflow?
A: Even though there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to workflows, it’s important to follow certain steps that will help you better estimate time. A best practice would be working backwards from your deadline. So, for instance, if you’re planning on launching an email campaign to promote a webinar taking place August 1st, work your way back and determine the tasks that need to be accomplished before then.
Additionally, don’t forget to review every team member’s workload and understand what their availability looks like. You don’t want to rely on a task owner who won’t be able to give their best work because they had already been assigned too many tasks.
The Bottom Line
At Kimonus we understand the importance of streamline operations and having defined processes that simplify everyone’s life. Through streamlining, collaboration and automation, we can help you get more done by empowering your team and company. Contact us today!