Oct 4, 2021

What Is Workflow Analysis And How To Improve Productivity

All of us have come across some type of workflow but have hardly noticed it. For average people, it bears trivial importance but when you are the owner of a company or manage a workforce, a clear idea of workflow analysis is mandatory. If you understand what workflow analysis is, you will automatically get a glimpse of how it can help your business.

A workflow consists of different steps concerning different individuals or systems. Each process combined makes the product. Workflow analysis is analyzing and evaluating the workflow to figure out any lacking for better productivity.

As I have already stated above, knowledge about workflow analysis is crucial if you want to maintain steady production. This topic is so vast that discussing every detail in a single write-up is far from possible. I will briefly discuss the basics of workflow analysis and show you why it’s important for your business. The contents of this article should be highly helpful for any small to medium business.

What is Workflow Analysis?

The term workflow analysis is pretty self-explanatory. It means analyzing the workflow. So, to fully understand workflow analysis, first, you have to understand the workflow. Workflow means the flow of work. It is a sequence of tasks in a company or organization. A series of tasks that take place one after the other is called workflow.

Whenever data changes hands from human to human or human to machine, it creates a workflow. To sum it up, a workflow can be defined as the process that goes from being incomplete to complete by changing multiple hands.

Workflow analysis is breaking down the workflow performance to examine and analyze it thoroughly to figure out any lacking. By analyzing workflow, you can make necessary changes to optimize efficiency for maximum productivity.

However, workflow analysis isn’t as simple as it sounds. There’s a lot that goes on with it. In the rest of this article, I will briefly discuss how workflow analysis works and how it can be a game-changer for your business.

How does Workflow Analysis work?

Workflow analysis is a pretty simple process but can seem too complicated to you in the beginning. Here is how workflow analysis works in a simple manner:

  1. Workflow Evaluation

First, you have to collect some basic information regarding the workflow. Judging from the information, you will decide how to optimize and analyze the workflow. This begins from some basic questions like what is the role of this workflow in production, if it must exist or how often your company resorts to the workflow.

This type of question shall obtain qualitative data about the workflow. Determining the quality of the workflow is vital for further operations. How many changes of hands the workflow has if it involves parties from outside the company etc. are important parameters and you should evaluate them carefully.

  1. Data Collection

After evaluating the workflow, you will need some quantitative data, which means some raw numbers. Another term for workflow evaluation is qualitative data collection so don’t be puzzled. Our whole goal is to mitigate time consumption to make the process more efficient.

Each process in a workflow is called a subprocess. This idea is important because you have to figure out how much time each subprocess consumes, the difference between the highest and lowest time each subprocess takes if there is any delay, and the frequency of each subprocess taking place.

If you look closely, you will see that each parameter is some sort of number, hence the name quantitative data. Once you have both qualitative and quantitative data, it’s time to analyze the data.

  1. Data Analysis

Quantitative data helps you solve the problem while qualitative data allows you to identify the root of the problem and eliminate it. Suppose, if any of the sub processes is taking too much time, you get that information from quantitative data. However, whether that subprocess is vital and must stay, or removing the subprocess shall yield a better result, you get the information from qualitative data.

Qualitative data shows you if a subprocess is redundant and removing it shall bring a better outcome. If another subprocess which is very crucial but takes a longer time than usual, you can cut down the time for better efficiency.

Analyzing the data thoroughly gives you this type of idea and lets you decide the necessary changes to make.

  1. Implementation of Changes

After identifying all the major and minor problems from your workflow, it’s time to implement the required changes for better workflow performance. Applying these changes is not a one-and-done process. Rather, you may consider it as a trial-and-error process where you keep a close eye on the workflow after making changes, and then make changes accordingly.

If the desired outcomes start to yield, then the changes are final. Notify every associated party with the workflow of the changes. Also, follow up on the changes for performance analysis. This entire process will not only optimize your workflow but also you get to assess the sub processes closely.

How to use Workflow Analysis to improve your business?

Now that you know how workflow analysis works, realizing how it can be helpful for your business shouldn’t be a problem. Just in case, let’s take a look at how you can use it to improve your business productivity:

  1. Increase Efficiency

Proper workflow analysis can boost the work efficiency of your company. Through workflow analysis, you get to see separate processes and also the entire workflow from start to finish.

You can decide which steps you should eliminate, or which ones would perform better if you establish automatic workflow, etc. Thus, increasing the overall efficiency of your work team.

  1. Cut Down Time Consumption

In the production line, time is money. In fact, in every office or workplace, proper utilization of time is the key to high productivity. As I have already discussed, obtaining quantitative data is a part of workflow analysis.

From quantitative data, you can get time-related information and scrutinize the time consumption of each workflow. If you feel it’s necessary, you can reduce time or delete a subprocess. By cutting down time consumption, productivity at a given time increases.

  1. Improve Your Relationship With Employees

During workflow analysis, there’s a lot of interaction between you and your employees. When collecting qualitative information about various sub processes and their feasibility, you exchange a lot of information with your employees.

People open up to each other through interactions. Due to busy schedules, there is hardly any time to talk to your subordinates. But workflow analysis opens that gate. You can get lots of different information besides the necessary ones for analyzing the workflow. This passively helps the office environment which is ultimately good for business.

  1. Better Utilization of Resources

One of many things that hinder the productivity of a company is improper utilization of resources such as money and manpower. And it’s obvious that if you put effort into something that won’t yield anything in return, it’s just a waste of material.

By analyzing workflow, you can easily find out if there is an unnecessary subprocess. You can also see what type of resource is appointed and wasted there. Pointing out the problem often becomes the main concern in a company. Once you figure that out, finding a solution should be a cakewalk.

In this case which is tuning of the resources. You eliminate a subprocess or employ a resource to a subprocess that yields something. This ensures proper distribution of assets and improves your business productivity.

Conlusion

Workflow analysis is a relatively new idea but has made its place among business owners and entrepreneurs. If you are one of those and think it can help you, I suggest you start working right now without any second thought as you have already realized the importance of workflow analysis.

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