Steps To Systemise Complicated Workflows

Posted on Jul 12, 2021
By Kerry Anne Nelson
3 min read
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Complex tasks that involve multiple team members with several steps 

Managing complex processes

Managing complex processes is a challenge we all face. Some tasks are just bigger than others, demanding more time and effort. There are lots of complex things that we do in business. This does not have to be intimidating though. Today I want to share a few practical tips on how you can systemise these complicated workflows.

When I’m working with my clients we always run into workflows they simply do not know how to manage or streamline. In a perfect world, everything would be nice and simple and it’d be 123 done, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

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“Continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are mutually reinforcing.” – Michael Porter

I’m sure there are complex workflows involving multiple team members happening in your business, as they do in mine. It is really important to break these down. To systemise them so you can be clear on what’s happening in your business. Ultimately, you do this so you can safely delegate and grow your business sustainably.

These kinds of tasks are by far the most difficult to document because they are simply so dynamic. If you’ve been thinking “I need to create a more efficient workflow but I simply don’t know how to pull it apart”, then this is for you.

Step 1 – Map the Process

Firstly, get all of your team involved in the task together. Do this whether on-site or remotely. Then work with them to create a process map. A step by step of the entire process. This means breaking it all down: what happens first, what happens next, what happens next, and so on. If multiple things are happening at the same time, create extra pathways to track them. If it’s a complex task it may take a while, but that’s alright. Just make sure to break it down into easily understood steps.

Step 2 – Break the Task Down

Once you’ve got all of it mapped out, the next thing to do is break the task into sections. This means that each team member writes up the steps they perform in the process. Your team will know their part best because they’re the ones doing it. So make sure you delegate that to them. Say “Okay, now we know the pieces of the puzzle, please drill down and write up the actual steps of what you do”. Managing complex processes is always easier when you master its basic steps.

Step 3 – Regroup and Discuss

Now, you get it all and piece it together just like a jigsaw puzzle. Regroup and discuss how each section fits together. Create a cohesive sequence and leave no gaps. Once again, this may take a little while. It is worth it though, because these kinds of tasks, these complex processes, are at the core of your business. So you want to know exactly how they’re done and how they can be improved. Then you know how they can be delegated and managed effectively. This is the number one thing you need to be able to grow and scale.

Expert Tip!

And now an expert tip! The management of these complex sequences is best done with task management software. Especially if you’ve got lots of pots on the boil at any given time. You can manage this with just spreadsheets and word documents, or reminders in your calendar. What you need is to set up task management software. It will keep everything on track, so you can grow your business without being tied to all of the work. Also without having your team completely frazzled and stressed!

Kerry Anne Nelson

About Kerry Anne Nelson

Kerry Anne Nelson is the founder of Operation Verve and is a qualified first-class Honours graduate with more than 8 years of experience in education.

Kerry Anne Nelson is a workplace processes architect and uses her Lean Six Sigma training to maximise her years of experience in business management, education, and team leadership to help clients achieve lasting business growth.