How Your Business Can Benefit from Workflow Analysis

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A network of work processes drives your business operations. This network determines how well you serve your customers. As a business evolves, the once simple and straight-forward processes could morph into a complex web of activities.

Workflow analysis provides a complete view of how well activities are executed. Begin with an understanding of who does what and when, bottlenecks and improvement opportunities can be identified easily.

Here is how you can benefit:

a) Process At-A-Glance
When one hears how inefficient a process is, the feedback usually arrives in bits of information from different sources. It is difficult to capture the whole picture and appreciate the extent of the problem. As part of the workflow analysis, the workflow diagrams created provide a map of the work undertaken. These diagrams provide, at-a-glance, the people involved, the number of hand-offs, the timeline, and the potential areas that require attention.

b) Work Relevancy
Work activities for a process are identified in laying out the end-to-end process. Duplicate and irrelevant work becomes transparent. You could identify where and why the problems arise. It becomes straight-forward to focus on eliminating duplications and irrelevant activities. You could be amazed by the odd activities that you might have been doing. With the workflow analysis, you now understand the impacts and implications to the employees and your business.

c) Clarified Roles and Responsibilities
Most organizations are structured by work function. With the advent of technologies, certain work might be more effectively handled outside the defined functional area. In order to ensure work processes are effective, it is important that activities are clearly identified. A workflow analysis identifies the participant(s) for each activity. The complete mapping of a workflow provides the ability to review whether the right resources have been assigned to the work involved. It also allows everyone involved understand their responsibilities.

d) Workflow Rationalization
With the information gathered through workflow analysis, you would be able to determine the causes of delays and other issues. In addition, opportunities for improvement would be identified. As a result, you are ready to make rational changes based on your findings, capabilities and resource availability.

e) Improved productivity
Productivity increases from elimination of duplicate work, simplified processes, and effective use of resources. The time to implement change could vary significantly with the complexity of the workflow, the number of departments involved and the extent of the change.

To achieve the above benefits, you need to be prepared to keep an open mind throughout the analysis. Engage all stakeholders who play a role in the process. Educate them on your goals and the benefits. Communication is especially critical for an effective and successful implementation.

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