A well-organised team is capable of incredible things. But organising a team to the extent that it works harmoniously towards a single goal is easier said than done.
Reliable team workflows are key to establishing teams that work together effectively. And they’ve never been more important. Today’s marketplaces are increasingly competitive, meaning that ultimately, it’s the teams who work together best who will achieve real success.
Team workflows are now a real area of focus for a whole range of different businesses. Because making improvements here means dramatic upticks in results for a business as a whole - and its potential for the future.
A team that lacks direction will never achieve what it’s truly capable of. By championing workflow management, leaders seek to ensure that teams can work together effectively, to complete projects that surpass expectations.
Read on and we’ll take you through everything you need to know about team workflows and how to improve them.
What is a team workflow?
Team workflow is important in any business. But for ambitious companies hoping to outsmart their competitors and reach new audiences, it’s priority number one.
When we talk about team workflow, what we’re actually talking about is how work is divided between team members.
In a well-managed business, tasks will be split up and allocated to the team members best suited to the demands of each piece of work. If this is done properly, every task will land on the desk of the employee with the skills and knowledge to complete it effectively, and within the shortest time frame possible.
Project managers might have guidelines on how best to assign tasks, and the procedures to follow when dividing responsibilities between colleagues. If a workflow is managed well, all team members will be fully aware of the process. They’ll also understand how their skills fit in with overall project goals, which is great in terms of motivation and engagement.
Clear communication and effective teamwork go hand in hand with well-run team workflows. If teams are to work together to the best of their abilities, they need workflows that actually work.
Why is workflow management so important?
Workflow management matters because without it a team would ultimately lack direction. And that’s bad news where engagement is concerned - not to mention the knock-on effects that this would have on collaboration and teamwork.
Project managers can achieve so much more when workflows run smoothly. By focusing on workflows, managers gain better visibility over projects and can allocate tasks and duties far more effectively. This means that tasks are more likely to go to team members with the skills and the time to complete them quickly and that the project will continue to progress as a result.
By overseeing workflows, project managers can stay ahead of the game. Potential challenges can be identified and planned for well in advance, and everyone can be kept in the loop at every stage of a project. Potential complexities are easily simplified through good workflow management, and team members have full access to all the information they need.
Using project management tools to improve workflow
Project management tools can make a huge difference to team workflows, simplifying even the most complex setups for the benefit of all involved.
Built for teams that want to simplify and streamline their workflows, project management software like Hello Ivy has been designed to improve team collaboration.
Today’s companies need management software to help their teams realise their potential. Not only does the software turn complete chaos into a state of zen, it allows teams to manage projects more effectively without the need for pointless meetings, distracting conversations and endless emails.
Find out more about Hello Ivy. Take a look at the #1 Jira alternative to see it in action.
How to manage team workflow: A step-by-step guide
Managing team workflow is key to achieving success and sustaining that success over time.
Begin by defining and documenting your team’s workflows, and then start to think through your team’s style of work. Doing so will allow you to choose the tools, software and systems that best suit your team’s unique requirements, and once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to manage team workflows effectively in the long-term.
Our step-by-step guide will take you through everything you need to know about managing your team workflow. Follow the steps below and before long you’ll have all the information you need to improve workflows within your own team.
Step 1: Organise your workflow
Start by thinking about how to organise your workflow.
Consider how it will be presented and what you’ll include in the final workflow. This is a great opportunity to get colleagues on board, by giving them the opportunity to make suggestions.
Ask team members to identify key elements or specific processes that they think should be added to new workflows.
Step 2: Set out a list of tasks
Split your work into a series of tasks, and organise those tasks according to priority.
This will give team members visibility over the tasks that make up a project, and it’ll also provide team leaders with the opportunity to spot any oversights or potential problems before they arise and derail a project’s progress.
Step 3: Assign roles and responsibilities
Now it’s time to think about who should be responsible for what.
Think about the strengths and experience of your team members, and assign tasks accordingly.
By giving tasks to the colleagues best equipped to complete them, you’ll get them done faster - and team members will gain a confidence boost from having their ability recognised.
Step 4: Create a workflow diagram
Many of us benefit from seeing a real visualisation of a workflow. If your team would, you could create a workflow diagram at this point.
Your final diagram will enable everyone to understand the vision for the workflow and how it will function. Good online collaboration tools have drag and drop tools designed for exactly this purpose.
Step 5: Invite feedback from team members
You’re now entering the testing stage of your workflow, and this is another good opportunity to invite colleagues to collaborate and share their ideas.
Ask for feedback on the workflow from team members, to give them the opportunity to make suggestions on how it might be improved. You never know, there could be something glaringly obvious that’s been overlooked up to this point.
Step 6: Implement your workflow
The workflow can now be implemented.
Start by sharing it amongst your team, and if necessary, complete training with team members to ensure that everyone knows how to use it.
The final system can then be expanded more widely throughout your organisation, to maximise its results across the business.
How to improve your workflow management
Focus on workflow management and you’ll dramatically boost your team’s chances of success, while also improving motivation, engagement and satisfaction amongst your team members.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of workflow management in business, because it really can make all the difference. It’s just a case of knowing how.
Take a look at our top tips on how to improve your workflow management to get started.
Give teams plenty of breaks to boost motivation
No matter how motivated teams are at the start of a project, there’s always the potential for burnout. And if it strikes, it really can slam the brakes on progress. Avoid situations like these by making time for employees from day one.
Give colleagues plenty of time to explore their own hobbies and activities during the working week, to give them the chance to relax and unwind. Doing so will keep teams refreshed and motivated, which is vital in any successful team workflow.
Reduce multitasking where possible
Multitasking is an important skill, particularly within small businesses where colleagues tend to wear a whole host of different hats as they move between their tasks for their day. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to multi-task.
Encourage teams to focus on one task at a time, and avoid switching between them continuously. By focusing on tasks individually, teams stand a better chance of producing quality work with fewer distractions.
Minimise stress and keep staff engaged
Stress can affect all of us, but it’s down to project managers to reduce the stress that their teams are under as much as possible.
Keeping work organised really helps here, as it avoids last minute panics and unrealistic deadlines. But there are other things that project managers can do to keep stress levels low.
Promote a positive work environment, ensure everyone is taking breaks regularly and make sure that everyone has someone to turn to when they need assistance.
Don’t procrastinate on challenging tasks
It can be tempting to leave the most challenging tasks to last. But this is a mistake - particularly when we’re talking about good workflow management.
Prioritise tasks in accordance with urgency rather than complexity. This helps to structure the day, and means that you’ll be able to approach the trickiest tasks with a clearer head, because you haven’t left them to the last minute.
Champion work-life balance
A good work-life balance makes a real difference to employee satisfaction levels, and in turn the quality of their work. Make sure that team members have clear boundaries in terms of their working hours and expectations outside of work.
Allow team members space to enjoy their time off without having to field questions from colleagues, by giving teams full access to all the information they might need to complete tasks.
Focus on organisation to avoid confusion
Organisation and great project management go hand in hand. Staying organised can also be a huge help in combating stress and reducing the need for multitasking. So, avoid confusing situations by using workflows to keep everyone organised.
Improve workflow management by organising files, data and communication in a way that can be easily navigated by all team members to keep everyone on the same page as they work.
Project management tools rapidly improve team workflow
Task management software is a real secret weapon in the quest to improve team workflows and complete projects faster.
Fully equipped with all the features and functionality teams need to work together more effectively, good project management tools enable teams to fulfil their true potential.
Introduce project management tools within your business to connect team members in a way that makes collaboration second nature.
With project management tools, every conversation, document, event and discussion can be easily linked and shared. And that’s just one example of how tools like these bring teams together to improve team workflows and turn chaos into clarity.
Take a look at Hello Ivy’s project management software to find out more about how you can simplify workflows and improve team collaboration.