For any business taking on large projects or delivering services to their clients, the efficiency of the individual worker is not enough. You have to be able to look at the big picture, see the entire workflow, to know whether or not you’re really able to deliver on time. If you’ve had problems with managing projects and their timing as of late, then it’s time to look at that workflow, and what you can do to manage it better. Here are some of the solutions that can see you really speed things up.
Understand and plot out that workflow
First of all, you have to be aware that your workflow is not an abstract concept, in reality. It’s a series of events that, once you better understand how they are mapped out, you can typically make much better decisions about how it is done. You need to be able to understand how resources, as well as employee efforts, are inputted, the various steps of the workflow, and what the end result is. With workflow plotting tools like Kissflow, you can get a good idea of what steps your workflow is laid out in, which can help you better spot things like bottlenecks, misallocated resources, and areas of the workflow that might need a little more attention.
Automate what and where you can
One of the biggest driving forces in modern business is that of automation, of taking tasks that were previously done with more human involvement and removing that human involvement. Nowadays, most automation is done with the help of software that can do many of those tasks themselves and even integrate with other pieces of software to create entire workflows that can be done without human intervention. This doesn’t mean that the human is cut entirely out of the process, of course. While you might be able to remove human error, computer error is still very much a factor that you have to consider. As such, you might want to put someone in place to double-check the automated results and to be able to fix your processes when errors do become apparent.
Could robots be the right decision for your business?
The benefits of automation do not apply only to the world of software. In mechanics, engineering, and products, we have already seen robots play a significant factor in completing many processes. This transformation of the modern work environment has been underway for a long time now and is now starting to reach different industries, with things like retail robots, such as automated shopping assistants, starting to show up. Take a look at the state of commercial robotics to see if you can’t find a place for them in your business. Again, you can diminish the role of human error in your business significantly, but you must have human engineers and controllers there to make sure that the robots are doing their job, well, too.
Bring in some outside help
There’s a lot of work that, as of yet, cannot be outsourced. Work that relies on a lot of specialist information and knowledge, the ability to make judgments on the field, and highly context-sensitive work is going to be some of the last to be automated. One of the major inefficiencies when taking on this kind of work is the skill and knowledge gap that your business might have. When that’s the case, then outsourcing the right professionals can make all the difference. The more that your business outsources, the more important it is to manage your outsourced workers with tools like field service management software. If you track the work orders that you outsource or don’t have them work within the context of your team and workflow as you understand, you’re simply not going to get the best results out of them.
Always be looking for sources of waste
When you’re running a business with many moving parts, whether those moving parts are your team and resources, or they’re literally the moving parts of machines, then you have to acknowledge that something is going to be lost in the process. Reducing loss in the business can be as simple as applying the lean principles to your setup and aiming to total operational effectiveness with the help of tools like Machinemetrics, or it can mean learning more about what’s making your team less efficient, getting rid of distractions and time sinks to help them better meet their goals.
Of course, one of the most vital aspects of improving your workflow is recognizing that speed is not all that matters. Quality control and ensuring that you’re not rushing the job is just as important, so never neglect that.