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Efficient Workflows: How to improve workflow efficiency!

Introduction:

I want to demystify workflow efficiency and efficient workflows in a bit enticing and appealing manner. Suppose you are a startup, and your organization is working to build a humanoid robot. The team comprises an AI developer, deep learning specialist, ML expert, coder, product manager, and a team of individuals teaching the basic robot tasks.

If the ML expert is not efficient, building a robot and training, it would be a long-drawn-out task.

According to a survey, in an eight-hour workday, a particular wastes three hours on irrelevant activities that do not add credence to their task, resulting in inefficient workflows. However, we can never completely eliminate the time that is being wasted, but there is always a silver lining to improving the process

Be it a regular task like hiring individuals or a once-in-a-year task, that is, developing a product; both of the tasks require proper workflow management to reach utmost efficiency. Therefore, even if two or three team members are unproductive, it will impact the entire team's performance.

A quick fix to efficient workflows:

It is actually pivotal to think and elaborate the process of efficient workflows by considering a team or an enterprise. The simplistic rationale behind this is that in a team, many external and internal variables are included. Hence, it is decisive to work in a shared workflow environment while managing a team, wherein outside team members are also involved. So, let's grasp and latch onto the process of workflow efficiency with a brief yet detailed definition and the ways to improve and enhance it.

What is workflow efficiency?

The whole method, procedure, and performance you and your team use to finish a project is called workflow efficiency. The main objective of workflow optimization is to make this procedure as efficient as possible while generating the least amount of waste. The main objectives of an effective workflow are to boost team productivity and decrease costs to the organization.

To boost the speed, accuracy, and quality of your output, you must concentrate on streamlining your procedures to increase the workflow's efficiency.

Efficiency helps to minimize the risk of errors, shorten turnaround times, and increase return on investment (ROI), in addition to optimizing the value of time and resources.

For instance, you certainly already have a procedure for purchase orders in place that resembles the example above. However, any inefficiencies in that procedure could result in delays and increased operating expenses.

An employee, for instance, wastes time chasing down bosses to get their signatures. Form printing is another ineffective practice that causes delays. The time it takes to route them and get signatures is considerable.

A simple cost structure for purchase orders compares both manual and automated workflow; With no tools or software, manual processes cost businesses $89.73 for each purchase order. On the contrary, organizations that employ process automation software spend $30.72.

Causes of workflow inefficiency:

Workflow inefficiencies work like a domino effect, if one area of your company is affected, most likely the impact will reach out to the other departments as well. So let's study the causes of workflow inefficiencies:

  • Repetitive tasks: A priority list for your team to refer to and draw inspiration from is the first step in developing a workflow. If the priority list is out of order, it may lead to repetitive work and serious deadline effects.
  • Manual entry of data: While not universally applicable, manual data input is a rather specialized process that wastes a lot of team members' time. There are two reasons why these chores take so much time.

First of all, entering data requires a lot of work and effort. One thing at a time entry takes a while, and if you're not an Excel whiz, it might take up your entire day.

  • Human errors: Teams frequently lose productivity and time due to human mistakes, which, unlike manual data entry, cannot be automatically corrected. People will inevitably make mistakes at work. However, they can be reduced to some extent.

Learn More: Employee Satisfaction in Hybrid Workplaces Environment

How to improve workflow efficiency in an organization?

  • Map out any existing workflow: Processing purchase orders, staff onboarding, trip requests, and cost approvals are typical instances.

Even while you can draw out a workflow using a pen and paper, employing workflow automation software like frevvo, which allows you to visualize and automate your workflows without any coding, will make the process much simpler.

An example of an expense approval workflow would be:

  • Employee files a reimbursement request, which the manager reviews and approves.
  • CFO evaluates every claim
  • Finance pays the employee back.
  • Finance inputs the information and submits the claim.
  • Measure your workflow efficiency: Gather information about a workflow before making any adjustments. How long does it take to completely finish a workflow? What is the price?

Calculate the efficiency of your workflows using the process cycle efficiency formula. To quickly review the formula, here it is once more:

Value-Added Time / Total Cycle Time = Process Cycle Efficiency

Let's imagine that the length of time it takes to approve expense claims is making the staff unhappy (most are paying out-of-pocket, after all). The calculation reveals that this workflow is only 3% efficient, with a total cycle time of 120 hours and 4 hours of value-added time.

You'll be able to gauge the effects of any adjustments you make to an existing workflow by using this figure as a baseline.

  • Test the workflow: The productivity of a workflow can be improved. However, you shouldn't always count on everything to go down without a hitch.

Before you put the modified workflow into practice, run a dummy version of it. Have an employee complete the workflow for expense approvals in the same manner that they would for submitting and approving an expense claim.

Convalescence:

All workflow procedures can be automated in a variety of ways. Finding effective solutions for the jobs you need the most assistance with is the greatest automated method. The most excellent strategy to increase the effectiveness of your workflow is to get a platform that can optimize all of your procedures. Simple processes like time clocks and payroll data can be automated.

Learn More about: Enterprise Workflow Automation and Document Management System in SharePoint

FAQs:

How can I make my workflow more efficient?

By reviewing the progress of workflow and handpicking a correct automation software to eliminate wastage of time.

Why is efficient workflow important?

A single improvement to a workflow, such as eliminating a pointless activity, automating a phase, or digitising a form, can significantly improve how (and how quickly) work gets done.

What four things does effective workflow include?

  • Start by doing a brainstorm.
  • Challenge Your Brainstorming's Results.
  • Check to see if any processes can run concurrently.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

How is workflow efficiency measured?

The formula to measure workflow efficiency;
Process Cycle Efficiency = Value-Added Time / Total Cycle Time.

What are the three basic components of workflow?

  • A trigger
  • Work
  • Result

What is a good workflow?

The channel of data migration must be clear, stakeholders must understand their roles, deadlines must be predicted accurately, and risks must be identified.

  • Deepali Kamotra
  • October 09, 2022
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