4 Ways to Avoid Workflow-enza in Your Creative Agency

Poor communication, sore backlogs, and increased stress-levels are all symptoms of workflow-enza. As prevailing as the common cold, workflow-enza is a pain in the butt that can render the productivity of a company bedridden. This happens because companies overlook their workflows. Consequently, they become overworked, inefficient, and make prospective clients think twice before shaking their hand. So, what’s the cure?

We discovered 4 core components that, if executed poorly, contribute to the dreaded workflow-enza. We’re going to pass along some tried-and-true tips that are easy for a company of any size to implement, and are guaranteed to get your company healthier than ever.

1. Clarity

Symptoms: Is your company as productive as it could be? Lack of clarity can result in confusion around team member responsibilities, deadlines, getting information too late, or getting incomplete information.

Rx: Having an easy-to-follow methodology in place allows employees to have a sense of direction, be confident in their decisions, and eliminates the need to ask unnecessary questions and/or permission. The most efficient way to do this is to utilize a workflow management dashboard. This tool provides you access to important information about your employees, clients, and current projects. If all this information can be displayed in real-time, even better.

Prognosis: By establishing clarity, you can expect a more cohesive, efficient, and professional workforce.

2. Communication

Symptoms: Is your company doing everything it can to have top-notch communication? Like that nagging cough you’re convinced is nothing, communication is an aspect of your business where you have to be brutally honest with yourself. If your clients don’t know exactly who you are, what you do, and how you can provide them value, there’s room for improvement.

Rx: Build a great company culture of transparency — one where employees are encouraged to openly communicate about everything, from their wins and mistakes to grievances and what their favourite vacation spot is — builds trust (both internally and with clients).

Prognosis: Having your staff interact in such a fashion will not only improve client satisfaction, but it will also enable employees to feel more comfortable holding each other accountable. This, in turn will increase the likelihood of staying on budget and completing objectives on time.

3. Monitoring Output

Symptoms: Struggling to accurately and comprehensively record details around tasks.

Rx: An integrated management system enables you to produce and access the data you need to operate efficiently and to make informed business decisions without having to gather the data and produce a report. Look for a system that includes at-a-glance dashboards that have the vitals for project managers such as task, job, schedule and budget summaries; and vitals for owners such as profit, timesheet, utilization summary.

Prognosis: By being diligent about tracking your work you’ll get to spend more time growing your business, and less time trying to figure out where you went wrong. Having all that easily accessible data will help you to improve your budgets, eliminate non-value added activities, and understand where you are being inefficient.

4. Consistency

Symptoms: These are 4the signs your current solution used to standardize your workflows isn’t working well for your agency. Are your agency’s processes always changing, constantly needing to be enforced, or confusing?

Rx: Make sure that the workflow and communication tools accommodate the specific needs of your business. Use a workflow management software that provides a variety of templates for estimates and invoices that help keep your documents consistent, save you time when creating them, and are all centralized in one place.

Prognosis: With consistency in tracking all of your business transactions, any information that you collect can be accurately used to create helpful analytics for your business.

Too often companies ignore these telling signs and fail to make any changes to their workflows until it’s too late. In order to avoid workflow-enza, we recommend you vaccinate your business with these 4 easy changes and watch your business begin to thrive.

This article was contributed by former Function Point employee, Jonathan Meakings.

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