How to develop succinct workflow policies

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Workflow policies, whether for startups or large corporations, are a good way to smooth out work processes and avoid task conflicts and delays.

Governments spend huge amounts of money on developing these policies to ensure high standards and a guarantee that services are delivered efficiently. The UAE government is a good example as its policies have led to substantial improvement in work quality.

But it also applies to startups and small ventures which want to grow quickly yet maintain stability and professionalism.

Wamda has taken a deeper look at how these policies operate and are designed in order to ensure a smoother workflow, and how they help companies avoid routine which can stymie potential growth opportunities.

What is a ‘workflow policy’?

For example, a website offering online content creation services might describe its workflow as:

  • setting up publishing plans

  • scheduling and distribution of the publishing plan to editors

  • content creation and development

  • proofreading and editing

  • publishing and posting on social networks

  • reply to visitors’ comments

  • studying weekly or monthly statistics and reports, and comparing them with the publishing plan to assess what has been achieved. 

Another example is ecommerce. Startups working in this sector have several more sophisticated stages including sale plans, product choice, order follow-up and confirmation, and shipping. Between these stages, you’ll find many other secondary stages, such as checking if the local agent actually has the product available or if the order includes a special discount or discount points.

Distributing tasks 

  • reduce the amount of work being done in closed loops

  • speed up tasks by reducing the number of employees involved in each one

  • reduce paperwork and rely on digital technologies

  • put clients in the picture to allow them to track their orders

  • rely on notification systems, the cheapest of which is email for small startups

Planning for the future

This is a workflow map of a project which has broken down the whole business’s workflow into a list of tasks, each of which might be either independent or related to other tasks.

To make a plan for the future, assess:

  • workflow tasks as if you were implementing them right now, and try to understand the time needed for every step. Eliminate, delete, or merge unimportant or routine steps

  • Link the various steps and delete repetitive ones

The most important step for entrepreneurs who want to grow, whether in the short or long term, is anticipating and drawing up steps for the future.

They should then imagine applying those new steps to a project three or four times the size of their current one, and ask why it’s important. This makes workflow policies compatible with higher employee numbers in the future, and will only need a few micro-adjustments in order achieve faster work completion.

But this is only the beginning. Drawing up a workflow policy and detailing a startup’s work, as well as of every new employee who will join it, helps to identify weaknesses and strengths of the company’s products and services. It also equips business leaders with an overall vision of new ideas to develop. 

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