Focused Team and Workflow Automation – An Explosive Combination

OK. Here we go. Focus. Speed. I am speed.

Does that sound familiar?

If you’re thinking Lightning McQueen and his opening line in the animated movie Cars, you’re thinking right. Now, before you get any ideas and think of hauling yourself to Route 66 (or some other place you’ve been to that has a Route 66 feel to it) via some unknown force, let’s focus.

If you drill down to it, focus is nothing more than a two-syllable word. But it can mean the death or life of your business. The human mind, on the other hand, is a complex little thing, and with tons and tons of outside distractions, concentrating on a task can prove to be a real pain. This is one of those situations where a workflow automation system that can help you and your staff duke it out and win over all those distractions becomes an absolute necessity.

That being the case, how exactly can a workflow automation system help you and your workforce stay focused?

(1) Eliminate confusion about priorities.

Anyone who looks at reality straight in the eye would sooner rather than later realize the truth in the phrase, “too much to do and so little time.” Nowadays, time is a luxury a lot of people can’t afford, hence, the need for effective time management. Time management, as a result, calls for strong prioritization skills.

In a business setting, if every team member understands a project’s priorities, like those outlined in an IT help desk tool, confusion will most definitely fly out the window in a heartbeat. Sending out e-mails to communicate objectives and priorities, or sudden changes to objectives and priorities, sure looks like an effective way to keep everybody in the loop. But remember, e-mailing people back and forth, especially if multiple people have multiple issues that need to be addressed ASAP, is not an effective time management strategy. Worse, it may even confuse people all the more.

(2). No more missed deadlines or budget targets.

A reminder about a project’s deadline or budget may simply be a yellow post-it and/or an e-mail away, but let’s be honest, chances of key personnel missing those e-mails or post-its are always there. A workflow automation system that informs the team of the status of your project via e-mails and notifications until they’re acted upon, if needed, on a real-time basis can help you and your team make the necessary and timely adjustments, whenever and wherever warranted.

(3) Address unanticipated events with ease.

One other characteristic a workflow tool should possess is flexibility. This means that aside from being able to make room for on-the-fly changes to the process workflow without calling for a halt to ongoing operations, it should be able to track and document routine activities, and create necessary workflow procedures for overall best practices. In the future, if a similar issue arises, workflow tasks are already automatically in place, and the team wouldn’t necessarily have to go through a period of confusion, a period when they would most likely be unhelpful and unproductive.

(4) Integrate tasks with overall goals.

There are team goals, and there are individual goals. Knowing what you’re in for even before you officially start your work day can help with mind setting. Individual goals that are properly and explicitly outlined help team members visualize their roles in the overall scheme of things. A person who understands how he fits into the puzzle is generally a productive person, an asset to your business. To tap your workforce’s full potential, it may be necessary to install a process management solution that highlights their capabilities, especially those that contribute to the team’s goals.

(5) Know what’s going on every single day, every single time.

Knowing your project’s status at a glance can help with a lot of things – tweaking of workflow, if and when needed, assisting individual team members who may be experiencing some setbacks, and confidently reporting the numbers your boss is looking for, among other things. Indeed, an automated workflow that can address your project’s process management needs while allowing you and your team full visibility and transparency saves you a ton of time and a good deal of headache. It can even allow you to enjoy a Friday night’s out without worrying.

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