It may seem elementary, but the hardest thing about getting work done is, most often, just doing the work. Uncertainty in the workplace can drain resources—whether time, money, or just morale. That is certainly nothing that a business or non-profit should endure, and the sheer volume that some government agencies get mean that they have even less room for waste before they are hopelessly backed up. So how can you sidestep the problems that lead to less work getting done? Let’s find out!
Have a Workflow
Having a workflow set up is essentially like having a roadmap that gets you from point A to point Z with the fewest stops in between. A good workflow should say with certainty what the next action is in any situation. It should say when to hand off a task to someone else, either because of their specialization or just to get a sign-off. A great workflow will tell you how to respond to interruptions and changes in priority. Be as specific as you can when defining your workflow—it’s always useful to include instructions with plenty of pictures or screenshots and with all of the resources together in one place.
Inevitably, someone will need to reference documents or other materials in the course of a workflow. This begs the question, what happens when you get to that part? Do you need to stop everything, and consult a catalog or sift through a filing cabinet? Are you searching through the “My Documents” folder to find the right materials? The entire process becomes easier by integrating as few movements as possible.
Utilizing a cloud database with tagging or keyword driven search is going to save a lot of time and energy. Tagging is especially great, because if you’re in the middle of a project or get a lot of requests for the same sort of documentation over and over, you will have those pieces at hand.
Keep Track of Performance Indicators
Setting up a process is all for naught if you don’t keep track of what it’s doing for you. So, what do you get out of your newly organized workflow? Some of the key indicators include things like budget and time spent, of course. Depending on the type of office you have, you might use indicators like how often a certain document is opened, linked to, or tagged. The number of cases opened or closed may be great indicators for a customer service team, while the number of clients that are earned from leads is really important to a sales team. Whatever business you’re in, it’s important to stay on top of the performance of your workflow.
How Do You Get Work Done?
Do you have a formalized workflow that takes you from beginning to end? How do you access important documents or references? What indicators are important in your office? We want to hear from you! Let us know how your office runs in the comments below, or find out what we can do to make your office run smoothly.