Managing Team Workflow in 7 Steps (Plus Importance and Tips)

Updated June 24, 2022

Workflow is an intentional and organized system encompassing all tasks necessary to complete a project. Managing a team's workflow is beneficial for almost any job or activity where a project requires a sequential completion of tasks by a deadline. Understanding how to manage workflow can help your team work more effectively in their roles. In this article, we discuss why managing team workflow is important, how to manage it effectively in seven steps and useful tips you can apply at work.

Related: What Is a Workflow? (Definition and Examples)

Why is managing team workflow important?

Managing team workflow is important because it helps project managers and team leaders organize and plan team duties, including what to do, when to do it, how to accomplish it successfully and who's responsible for the task. Overseeing workflow can allow you to track and monitor the team's progress, while also simplifying the complexities of several tasks when managing a project. Additionally, using a workflow system lets members of the team check to see the remaining tasks in a project and who you've assigned to them.

Managing a team's workflow is also important because it:

  • Enhances collaboration

  • Improves accountability for each member of the team

  • Reduces micromanagement

  • Streamlines the project process

  • Minimizes repetitive tasks

  • Encourages transparency while completing the project

Related: 6 Ways To Streamline Business Processes and Workflows

How to manage team workflow effectively

Here are seven steps you can follow to manage team workflow effectively:

1. Organize your workflow

To organize your workflow, it's helpful to determine which way you want to present it and what components you plan to include. For example, you can prepare an organized workflow by deciding whether you want it on paper or digitized. Then you can ask your team members or colleagues what elements they might want to add to a new workflow. Some employees may request you include specific processes or provide tips for creating a workflow from their experiences.

2. Create a task list

Create a sequential task list for your project. Giving an order to assignments can help your team stay on track because they know what they can do next after they've finished a task. Additionally, writing a task list can help you think of everything you might need for a project, including the number of team members or any supplies the team requires.

3. Assign roles

Once you've listed all the tasks for a project, assign responsibilities to each team member. When doing this, consider the strengths of the members and try to provide them with a role that emphasizes their strengths. Placing people into roles that use their strengths can accelerate the process, since they may have experience in completing the task and feel confident that they're performing effectively.

Related: How To Delegate Work to Employees: Frequently Asked Questions and Tips

4. Design a diagram for your workflow

Designing a diagram of your workflow is helpful for understanding your vision of the system. To create a simple diagram, you can use drag-and-drop tools in programs that you can find online. It's also helpful to keep the overall design simple and user-friendly, as there could be several people using the system when it's finished.

Read more: How To Complete Workflow Diagramming in 6 Steps

5. Conduct a test run

Conducting a test run of your new workflow helps you identify if it functions properly and if there's anything that you can improve or fix. Ask a team member or colleague to help you test the workflow. When someone else uses the system, it can help you identify any minor issues, such as spelling or coding errors. After they've finished testing it, you can use their suggestions to improve the workflow.

6. Train your team members

Once you've conducted your test run and completed your workflow design, the next step is to train your team members. This can encourage team members to give you feedback on the system, such as if it's easy to understand and use every day. They may also suggest additional processes or functions, which can improve the workflow. It can also allow team members to practice using the system. Then you can measure the success of your training program by evaluating the team member's confidence while using it.

7. Implement the workflow

When you've completed the trial period and trained your team members on the new workflow, you can begin implementing it. Consider using it within your team first to determine how it functions during everyday use. Then you can either make adjustments as needed or introduce the system to other departments in the organization. You may also find it helpful to perform regular updates to the workflow to ensure it matches the needs of the team and the company.

Tips for workflow management

Here are some tips you can use to improve your workflow management:

  • Encourage employees to take breaks: Taking breaks can motivate employees to briefly engage in activities they enjoy. This can help improve their moods and help them focus on a task after the break.

  • Minimize multi-tasking: Focusing on one task at a time can help a team member reduce distractions and help ensure they produce high-quality work.

  • Reduce stress: Reducing stress at work can help you and your team members focus more effectively. You can reduce stress by taking frequent breaks, promoting a positive work environment and encouraging team members to ask questions if they need help.

  • Complete challenging tasks first: Prioritizing your list of tasks by urgency and importance provides structure to your day. If you address a challenging task first, you can focus on easier tasks later in the day, which may help you feel relaxed at work.

  • Use your home for rest: To manage your team's workflow more effectively, consider encouraging employees to complete tasks at work rather than taking them home. This can help them develop a positive work-life balance, which may improve their productivity during work hours.

  • Get organized: To prepare to manage the team's workflow, consider organizing for the upcoming day at the end of the previous workday. This can help you feel more relaxed at work and ensure you provide instructions to the team that are clear and easy to understand.


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