Business Productivity

The importance of Workflow phase in the 9 Phases of Productivity

Posted by Bryce England on Oct 9, 2017 1:51:28 PM
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Businessman-holding-large-pencil,-drawing-stairs-upwards,-walking-on-ladderPhase 5 is about standardising, tracking and visualising the process used to complete a job.

Implementing Phase 5 means the process itself is recorded in the system in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). 

All jobs contain a series of steps/progress markers (essentially a to-do list) which can be easily followed and updated by all staff members. This allows the same process to be followed job to job, regardless of who completes the job.

 Benefits of this method include:

  • Better control and visibility over the process
  • Reduced errors and oversights
  • More efficient handovers between people or departments
  • Ability for team members to pick up and complete a job started by someone else

Jobs are kept up to date as progress is made by marking off the progress markers/steps. This makes it clear, within any job, at any time, what the current progress is, what the next step is and who is responsible for completing the next step. The benefits of this include:

  • Clarified priorities and responsibilities
  • Reduced chance of an important step being forgotten or done twice
  • Customers able to be easily kept up to date on the status of their jobs

Staff efficiency is increased by knowing exactly what needs to be done next and how to do it, rather than holding the information in their heads or trying to deduce the next step by reviewing the file.

When a process changes, it is clearly articulated in the system through updated SOPs. The system is used to drive process and behaviour change towards a constantly improving business.

Advanced phase 5 implementations will have SOPs that adjust based on specific job conditions such as unique customer requirements. The standard SOP will alter to include new steps or remove redundant ones. Data entry fields will also adjust when there is a requirement to capture or report different data than a standard job would require.

 

EXAMPLES OF PHASE FIVE

Below are some examples of how this phase is supported.

  • Standard set of tasks or milestones loaded into workflow templates which are applied to all jobs.
  • The templates contain macros to control which tasks load in which jobs. For example, a valuable customer may require an extra process step which should not show on all jobs.
  • A set of filters which staff use to identify priorities and complete work in an effective sequence.
  • Custom fields to capture extra data when desired

 

BENEFITS
  • Improved visibility over workloads and job progress
  • Increased productivity/output
  • Easier and more even workload distribution across staff
  • Early warning of potential service failures
  • Fewer service failures
  • Improved customer service

Read more about Phase Six or find out more about the Productivity Journey as a whole.

About the Business Productivity Blog

A collection of effective guides on Productivity improvement initiatives and implementation ideas to ensure productivity projects have significant system wide benefits. 

You will read content related to:

  • Process of Continuous Improvement
  • Workflow Management
  • Behavioural/Change Management

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