Keep Things Moving: How to Master Your Workflow
Good managers keep things moving. Creating and cultivating an environment in which tasks are completed in a timely, efficient manner. Where projects are touched once and done right and communication is specific and appropriate keeping energy levels high and the workplace humming.
But how do you make that happen? How can you take the work you have to get done and get your team working together to master that workflow?
Specific tasks. Your staff and, by extension, you, will get more done when you are working on specific tasks. Your team needs to be able to compartmentalize projects and the steps in each project. If you can’t do that, you will quickly get off track, and all your metrics will go out the window.
Clear expectations. Each team member should have a specific area of responsibility, as well as a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and the larger project. When your team members understand what is expected, they can more easily rise to the challenge. But, when they don’t understand what really “means” success in that scenario, that creates misunderstandings and workflow detours.
Clear process. Speaking of detours, you can eliminate them by having a clear process from the very beginning. This has to happen, then this, etc. When everyone understands both who is depending on them and what has to happen next, they have a better grasp on their importance to the process. They can take ownership of that step and keep projects moving.
Understood goals. Why are we doing this, and when will we be done? What’s the purpose here? Every person needs a purpose. Giving your team members goals help them achieve their purpose for that day. Even if it’s simple, it’s something specific.
Optimistic timelines. Your more meticulous team members may hate this one, but you need to challenge your team. Deadlines are deadlines, and sometimes, stuff just has to be done faster than they think it can be done. Sure, sometimes stuff takes what it takes. More often than not, though, the proper motivation reduces timelines once considered set in stone.
Open communication. As a manager, you are either considered a problem solver or an impediment to progress. Which would you rather be? It doesn’t matter how you answer that question here … it matters how you answer your team’s questions when they ask.