Implementing Workflows without Being a Micro Manager
Have you been listening to our blog series on workflows? If you have joined us for the last two, then by now you have designed a fantastic and efficient workflow process, and you’re ready to implement it.
So, how do you know that everyone will follow the process you’ve so carefully outlined with your team?
In today’s discussion, we’ll show you how NOT to be a micro manager while still making sure your workflow process is working.
Be an Implementer, not a Micro Manager
No one likes having a micro manager looking over their shoulder every second to make sure the job is getting done exactly the way it should be done. As managers, we might feel compelled to do that to make sure there’s execution.
With workflows, you’re discovering ways of doing things that weren’t efficient or getting the job done. You’re making changes to the way things were running and as a business owner, you’ve invested a lot of time to develop a new process, review it with your team, and ensure everyone is clear on the objectives and tasks.
Once the workflow process is implemented, you want to make sure that the time you spent is not wasted.
How to be Sure Your Process is Implemented
Here’s a truth you probably know by now: no matter what you do with your workflow process, you have to have a great team in place to implement it. If you have any doubts or second thoughts about the strength of your team or how to build one, we’ve done a lot of blogs and podcasts about finding and retaining great employees. You could take a look at the podcast we just did with Melissa Prandi, for example.
With an exceptional team in place, there’s a three-step process to ensuring your workflow can be implemented:
- Step One: Accountability
You can make sure accountability is completely clear to everyone involved in the process. Go through the whole flow one time and make sure you know who owns what tasks. You need to know that everyone understands that they’re accountable for the success of the entire process.
- Step Two: Clarity
Make sure you have clarity around each task. Does everyone understand at a detailed level what the specifics are of each task? You could have written procedures for each task and task owner. Put any measures into place that are necessary to show you that everyone understands.
- Step Three: Measure Results
The last and best way to make sure your process is getting done will involve clear measureables associated with your checkpoints throughout the workflow. Then, you know that everything is getting done the way you expect it to, and you’re seeing improvement over time.
Fine-Tune your Tracking Process
Measuring your outcomes is critical. It’s tracking the process objectively without your interpretation of what is working. You know whether you’re hitting the mark or not.
Track the time it takes to execute each task and the time between each task. That shows you the total time required to complete the entire process. When you track these times and look at them through several instances of the process, you know if you’re on target or below target. You know what is or isn’t getting completed.
Finishing early doesn’t always indicate that everything is working. Maybe something is being skipped. Maybe there’s an extra task that people didn’t identify when you were planning.
When you’re tracking the process, you need some understanding of how long things are taking. Track it over time so you know if the process is or isn’t working.
Track Early and Then Let it Work
You’ll track these individual tasks early on, just to make sure all the effort you’ve put in up front is paying off. Make sure it’s on track. Then, you won’t have to track it all the time. You’ll only need to revisit it if things get off track from a delivery standpoint.
Everyone with an individual task should be keeping track on their own for how long things are taking them. When you add it up at the end of the week, you have a KPI for how the process is doing. You don’t have to do this for weeks and weeks. Just do it until you understand how long the process takes and to see if there is room for improvement.
Remember this: if you have great people, everyone is contributing to the outcome, and the process inherently works.
We’re glad you’ve joined us to talk about workflows. It’s a personal passion for us at Fourandhalf, and it really helps to sort out a business. Remember that they’re a tool to help your business become more efficient and to help you understand how information moves and flows through your company. But, it’s just a tool. You need great people and an interest in growing your business.
Watch out for next week’s podcast, where we take this a step further and talk in depth about workflow automation with Will Gunadi from nextCoder.
If you have any questions about workflows or how to grow your property management business, please contact us at Fourandhalf.