Transparent Workflows & Why They Matter
The way we work is getting a lot more complicated. From increasingly sophisticated tech tools to remote/hybrid working, the modern office juggles a lot of moving parts. In this high-pressure atmosphere, managers can’t afford to overlook the importance of transparency.
Putting your team to work without transparent workflows is like getting them to run a race in the dark. If they do somehow make it across the finish line, they’ll likely meander to it, crashing into each other along the way, and tripping themselves up.
Contrast that chaotic approach with an open, highly-visible workflow - one where staff members can see exactly where they’re going, how long it will take to get there, what steps are involved, and who’s doing what in the rush to deadline.
The benefits of transparency
When your team starts a project, you probably begin with the basics - what’s the deadline? What are the objectives? Who will perform which tasks?
While all these factors are essential in building out a brief, you still need a way to track your team in real-time so you can respond to challenges, gauge progress, and improve efficiency.
Here are some of the key benefits of transparent workflows:
1. Reduce the risk of error
When workflows are hidden, mistakes get made. One staff member might inadvertently duplicate another’s work, a colleague may forget to follow-up on a lead, there could be confusion over who’s assigned to a task.
A lot of time-consuming errors can be avoided with greater visibility. When teams can see the bigger picture, they don’t just get updates on their own responsibilities, but also how their work feeds into a project’s overall scope. This inspires greater accountability, improves collaboration, and minimizes the chances of any slip-ups.
2. Optimize resources
Given the current labor shortage, many offices are under pressure to make the most of their dwindling workforce. When you can’t spare any staff, the last thing you want is a cluttered system that ties them up in knots.
Getting a window into workflows allows managers to maximize their team’s resources. If someone calls in sick, another colleague can pick up their workload. If someone’s too busy to respond to a client, a team mate can pick up the slack. The whole team can see what needs to be done, and pull together to do it.
3. Eliminate guesswork
When workflows are shrouded in secrecy, managers can easily lose track of what processes are most efficient, and which need revision. They’re forced to rely on guesswork or time-consuming trial and error if they want to enhance staff performance.
Seeing exactly where and when roadblocks arise, however, demystifies teamwork. When every step of a process is logged, it makes it easier to quickly identify and solve any issues. And when each team member is held accountable for the work they’ve done (or not done!), it’s easier to give them the support they need.
Transparency is a manager’s secret weapon, giving them all the information they need to hone in on what works, and ditch what doesn’t.
4. Replicate processes
Streamlined workflows are essential to your team’s performance, but if you can’t replicate them, you can’t rely on them.
If a staff member suddenly quits, or takes leave, or gets sick, the last thing you need is to lose time trying to figure out what they were working on, and how to complete their tasks. Transparency means you can replicate their process, and smoothly pick up where they left off.
Those transparent workflows are also a huge asset when it comes to training new members of the team. They can be used to get new hires up to speed quickly, without sending them for lengthy training sessions. Why start from scratch when the information is already logged and at your fingertips?
Transparent tech tools
Transparency starts with technology. Realistically, managers can’t be everywhere at once but they can delegate to digital platforms that share, track, and centralize projects.
Every team works differently, with different needs and capabilities. Deciding which project management platform is right for your office means first assessing how your team works - do they follow linear workflows, or do they need the flexibility of agile processes? What other applications do they need, and how will these integrate with the rest of your tech stack?
Also think about security - making workflows more transparent will inevitably involve making them more accessible, raising issues around data privacy and protection.
You may also want to consider additional transparency-focused tools, such as Prodoscore, an Employee Productivity Monitoring solution. This software provides visibility into how team members interact with company tools, giving individuals and teams an overall productivity score based on their daily activity. From the Prodoscore dashboard, managers can monitor which workers need support, and who’s making the most of their time.
Contact us today to schedule a demonstration and see how Prodoscore can enhance transparency in your organization, boosting efficiency and improving productivity across the board.