Project Management

How to Make a Workflow Management System Work for You

workflow management system

If you struggle with managing all the moving parts of a project, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s time to put a proper workflow management system in place.

But it’s not so easy figuring out the right tool for your team, is it?

If you need help choosing the right system to bring your team together, you’ll love what I’ve prepared for you in this post:

A guide to choosing the right workflow management system to solve your biggest project management problems.

Read on and you’ll uncover a solution designed to help you track your entire project from start to finish and consistently hit your deadlines.

Excited? Well then, let’s not waste anymore time.

Here are the 5 Biggest Culprits of Inefficient Project Management

I’ll admit, it’s not easy finding the source of your project management problems.

But it’s the single most important factor in evaluating the right workflow management system for your business, so you need to get it right.

And here are five common culprits to get you started:

#1. Communication Breakdowns

In a recent post here, I showed you the common causes of communication breakdowns and how you can avoid them in your projects.

But it’s worth bring up here again because poor communication can absolutely ruin your project flow.

I’m sure you’d agree that disjointed conversations often leave you (and other members of the team) in the dark about critical project information.

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And that often leads to duplication of efforts, needless revisions, or worse…

missed deadlines.

So, if you’re finding your projects get bottlenecked along the way, it’s often a good idea to take a look at systems you have in place for team communication (if you even have a system at all).

And if you don’t, it’s likely this next factor is a big problem for you, too…

#2. Unclear Roles and Responsibilities

Think of this one like the younger brother of “communication breakdowns.”

That’s because people often don’t know what they’re responsible for if there’s not clear communication about roles and responsibilities at the start of a project.

And we both know that if you don’t explain to the team what they’re responsible for completing in a project, they’re likely to do the bare minimum (if anything at all).

So, with so many moving parts, it’s essential you have a clear breakdown of who does what (and when).

That way, your projects move efficiently from team-to-team and there’s no confusion about individual responsibilities.

 

#3. Each Team Uses Different Software

I’ll bet this is your nightmare:

Your marketing team leverages team chat, but the graphics team doesn’t.

Meanwhile, one invests in expensive software that the rest of the group can’t access.

Then, document sharing becomes confusing and difficult, and there’s no clear sign-off process as your projects get passed from one team to the next.

Sounds awful (and maybe a little too real), right?

Look, of course you want your teams to work well together.

But trying to let that come about on its own is like waiting for McDonald’s to start selling lasagna:

It’s probably never going to happen.

But luckily, that’s the whole goal of a workflow management system:

To unite collaborating teams under one, easy-to-use workflow.

Be ready though: sometimes, the problem isn’t necessarily your team…

…it’s YOU.

Such is the case with these next two:

#4. No One is Measuring and Reporting on Project Milestones

Without clear milestones, one thing’s for certain:

It’s impossible for you to keep track of the projection completion timeline and how close you are to actually meeting (or missing) important deadlines.

As Elizabeth Harrin writes on The Balance:

“[Project milestones] are used as a way showing forward movement and progress and to show people what is going on, even if they don’t have a detailed knowledge of the tasks involved to get there. In that respect, they are very useful for stakeholder communication and setting expectations.”

And that’s why if you’re not already setting, measuring, and reporting on project milestones, it’s likely a problem for you, your team, and even potentially your client.

But milestones are just one of many moving parts you need to keep an eye on.

That’s why this next problem may be one of the most common for project managers like you:

#5. There’s No Easy Way for You to Get a Bird’s Eye View of the Project

There’s no way around it:

You absolutely need to watch over every aspect of your projects to ensure teams are working well together and you’re on track to deliver on time.

That’s because when all’s said and done, clients blame you if the team misses an important deadline.

And if you’re managing several projects at once, that single view becomes even more important, right?

After all, it’s far too difficult to keep an eye on everything that’s going on with multiple teams across multiple projects.

And that’s the common denominator across all 5 factors: there’s no cohesion.

Luckily for you, that’s exactly the problem a good workforce management system solves.

And that’s what I’ll show you now:

Here’s How a Workforce Management System Addresses Each of These Problems

Cut Out Communication Breakdowns with Real-Time Team Conversations

If you haven’t yet gotten on board with a collaborative team chat tool, now’s the time.

That’s because chat tools ensure all relevant stakeholders are in-the-know about important project updates.

Take a look at how it operates within Zapty:

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(image source)

Notice how in addition to integrations with popular video chat platforms like Google Hangouts, you can actually create threaded conversations from directly within the platform.

And you can even create a chat stream as part of an individual task, making it easy for you to quickly check in with team members on hitting key milestones.

In fact, those tasks end up being valuable in more ways than one:

Assign Tasks and Outline the Project Workflow

Task assignment gives team members an idea of exactly what’s expected of them and when they need to complete their work.

And that solves your problem of who does what by clearly defining roles and responsibilities.

But Zapty takes it one step further: your team can also set-up their own to-do lists within the tool, too.

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That way, it’s easy to not only track the larger project goals, but also the daily accomplishments of your team.

Unify Your Teams with a Single Integrated Task and Project Management Platform

Zapty offers an all-in-one solution for file sharing and shared tasks.

Simply put: it’s the homebase for your entire project flow.

Just take a look at how easy it is a team member to pass along a spec for your approval, and then to easily assign it to the team responsible for next steps:

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Pretty amazing, right?

This is how a workforce management system should operate: by making the important tasks easier in your day-to-day as a project manager.

Set and Track Your Milestones on Shared Team Calendars

Using a shared calendar gives the entire team a view of project deadlines and milestone completion.

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Best of all, it helps people budget and plan their time, while also giving you an idea of any potential roadblocks in project completion.

And that early insight that might be the difference between missing and hitting your deadline.

The Zapty Inbox Gives You a Look at All of Your Ongoing Projects

The Inbox feature gives you a full view of all the projects they’re working on, including upcoming due dates, relevant conversations and easy access to approving files.

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And that means you can quickly sift through important to-do’s while also forecasting your workload for the rest of the week (and beyond).

More importantly, it gives you the power to truly own project completion.

With a tool like Zapty, there’s no excuse for poor project management – you have everything you need to get your team working together and to give you the view needed to steer the ship.

Want to Give it a Try?

You can sign up for free and get started with up to five users and a handful of integrations and features to get you started.

 

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