Efficient workflow management in 5 Steps

Bogdan Büchner

If your work day seems like a re-run of the infamous “I Love Lucy” episode, with your day-to-day tasks seeming like bon bons flying off a fast-moving conveyer belt, then your workflow management may need a little tweaking. All business managers know that the key to workplace productivity is a smooth operation with a minimal of distractions. To get to that ideal workflow management goal takes discipline. The payback is that your days are simplified and your profitability skyrockets. To spend less on time-consuming tasks that get you nowhere, follow these five easy steps.

1. Hold Fewer Meetings

The Atlassian reported that at least 31 hours per month were wasted in unproductive meetings. The simple solution to fine tune your workflow management is to have fewer meetings. Many issues covered in meetings can also be handled via emails or other types of interoffice communications. If you’re sure the matter requires a meeting, draft an agenda and stick to it to avoid unnecessary work stoppages and delays in your workflow management. Also, not everyone at a meeting needs to be there, so make sure to let people know that they can leave, if they are no longer needed.

2. Review Your Product Lineup

Complications in workflow management can arise from a glut of products that aren’t performing as well as they should. There is a need to manufacture, stock, inventory, store, and allot shelf space for these items and they may simply not be selling as well as they should. Just the sheer mechanics of it all can produce bottlenecks in other areas of your workflow that might produce even higher with better product placement or larger inventories. When was the last time you reviewed the product lineup and made a decision to focus on the best performers? If it’s been a while, it’s time to review that product lineup and streamline it.

3. Maintain a Professional Environment

Work time is not Facebook time. To keep a handle on your workflow management, allocate only 10 to 15 minutes to personal correspondence and chit-chat, but don’t let it hold you hostage. You can block certain websites and limit stray conversations by having an office with a door that shuts. The more you model a professional environment, showing up on time, taking only the allotted time for lunch, and working through the day, the more your employees will follow suit.

4. Know Who Does What and Enforce It

One big time-waster in workflow management is duplication of effort. When workers aren’t sure about their particular responsibilities, they can end up doing the same job someone else already performed. Or, they can interfere with someone else’s job, with overlapping responsibilities or gaps in tasks completed, and cause resentments in the work place. This is easily remedied by going over each worker’s unique responsibilities and offering guidelines to them for when they need to hand off the work to another worker and when it is their own job. Restructure positions if you notice that this type of dynamic exists in your workplace.

5. Eliminate Excessive Billing Issues

Whether you are forced to invoice multiple times to tardy clients or you have a myriad of bills on your desk with small extra charges, excessive billing can be costly for everyone. Learn how to consolidate your own bills so that paying things on time is easier. Make sure your clients are aware of their how your billing cycle works and encourage them to pay early with discounts and other incentives that save them and you money on extra billing.

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