Are you and your team constantly working long hours and scrambling to meet deadlines? Are you juggling several different projects and feeling as though nothing is actually getting done? Whether you are looking to organise your team or increase productivity, an established workflow has infinite benefits.
An efficient workflow helps to increase predictability, improve productivity, save your team time and your company money. Although workflows are unique to each agency/company there are a few simple steps that if followed could really help in both the short and long term!
First things first, check out your workspace.
Is it clean, tidy and uncluttered? The more stuff there is…the more there is to get in your way, so be brutal and make space! Do you and your team members sit in comfortable chairs and does your studio have good lighting? Although these things may seem trivial they really do contribute to a better flow.
Secondly, if there are any problems or bottlenecks it is time to identify them.
Ask your team for feedback on the current workflow. This should provide you with helpful insights on what’s working and what isn’t. Take note of the main points and recurring complaints that people have raised. These can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively on a quarterly basis to monitor how the changes are benefitting the team and the company as a whole.
Once you have a clear view of the workflow and its problems you can then build an appropriate task force.
Get everyone involved (top management included) and ensure that the whole team is aligned in an effort to improve workflow. Be sure to let your team know that they can always come to you with suggestions and that they have an active part to play in workflow decisions. Once they have embraced and felt a part of the change they are more likely to make a concerted effort to drive it daily.
Next up make sure your task force feels empowered and give each member a sense of responsibility.
It is imperative that your team feels a sense of ownership and the right to decision making on their own projects. By giving people clear responsibilities and clear levels of approval, jobs get completed quicker and this reduces pressure on those higher up the ladder. It also ensures that work doesn’t get stuck waiting for approval, a common problem in many agencies today.
Once everyone knows where they stand and what their responsibilities are you can set some basic rules in place.
These rules need to be simple and explained clearly and concisely. They should include timings, deadlines, review processes, communication channels, responsibility levels, performance evaluation and clear up any other questions on processes that your team may have.
Remember, a good workflow provides the guidelines for your team to flourish. Team members need to feel that it helps them to be the most efficient working unit possible. If your workflow doesn’t achieve this it needs to be adapted. Don’t worry if it’s continually evolving and growing organically that is the nature of workflows. Just make sure that when there is a problem your team is empowered to speak up, that way you can always improvise and adjust accordingly. A great workflow should save time and change everyone’s lives for the better.