Some companies struggle when it comes to managing their digital workflow: As documents and data flow here and there, information could get lost, and a lack of structure might result in redundant steps that sap your organization’s productivity. How do you ensure the right documents are going to the right people at the right time?
Here is a list of quick do’s and don’ts that every office could use to improve its digital workflow. First, here are four do’s:
- Do think through and document your current workflow process: To improve your digital workflow, you first need transparency into what employees are doing and how they are doing it.
- Do get input from current users: Interviewing and observing people that use the processes you want to improve helps you to develop a central document repository and other elements that support a better workflow process.
- Do start small: Incremental process improvement is the key to lasting change, so focus on making smaller processes better. You don’t have to start with the absolute best digital workflow that solves every problem.
- Do make digital workflows flexible and adaptable: Often, workflows are determined and configured by an administrator. But that means every time users want to change the workflow, they have to call the administrator. A good system allows for users to make adaptations without always needing to call IT.
And now, three don’ts:
- Don’t increase the complexity of workflows unnecessarily: Many workflow systems are highly complex, requiring many people to design them. But the workflows themselves should be as simple as possible.
- Don’t go it alone: If you’re implementing a new system for digital workflows, get professional assistance and expertise.
- Don’t underestimate the impact of improving digital workflows: When you take the time to automate and streamline the process, you’re better able to focus on the content of that workflow. In other words, the more you can automate in the background, the more time and energy your employees have to focus on tasks that drive revenue.
One challenge for many companies when it comes to improving workflows is that the opportunity costs are relatively easy to ignore. Doing nothing may be costing them money every day, but that cost isn’t always obvious.
Digital workflow optimization is an investment that should pay for itself many times over, both by increasing productivity and decreasing the frustration of your workers, who no longer have to spend so much time trying to work with a less-efficient system.