How to Identify Where Your Workflow is Broken

How to Identify Where Your Workflow is Broken

Jen Lawrence
Jen Lawrence

Operational Efficiency Expert. Creating ease through systems.

We often feel the emotional response to frustrations before we can identify the source of them. Specifically, when it comes to getting work done, we can usually only sum it up as, “It just doesn’t work!”

In fact, that’s one of the top complaints I hear from my clients, “Something just isn’t working.”

How do you figure out what “something” is? Where do you start?

Start with a simple question:

Is this a People, Process, or Technology issue?

By dividing up your operations into the three realms of people, process, and technology, you begin the process of focusing on and isolating various possible issues. This, in turn, facilitates identifying where things aren’t operating as intended.

Is this a People issue?

  • What does team capacity look like?
  • Are people in the right roles?
  • Do you need more people?
  • Are the right people involved?

Is this a Process issue?

  • Do the workflows still make sense?
  • Are there too many steps?
  • Are steps missing?
  • Do all paperwork and approval serve an authentic purpose?

Is this a Technology issue?

  • Are tools being used appropriately?
  • Are there redundant or unnecessary tools?
  • Is automation being optimized?
  • Have you outgrown your current tools?

As you evaluate a particularly sticky workflow, you may find that you’ll have issues in all three areas and some may be interrelated. This often happens when operational processes have not been addressed as part of the growth process.

To stay on top of your workflows and maintain operational excellence, you should be asking these questions often. Even after you think you’ve worked out all the kinks, friction will pop up because your environment is in a constant state of change. Continue to evaluate and adjust.

If you need help, my services are perfect for helping you with all three areas – people, processes, and technology.

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