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Work flow refers to the order in which work is performed and if it is managed work flow successfully, one can increase profitability. The time saved can result in reduced operational costs and enhanced revenues. Effective strategies that help manage work flow include logical planning, time management and employee accountability.
Select only logical steps to be accomplished in the work flow system. A step is referred to as an activity in the language of work flow management. A person or a machine completes each activity to manage work flow. The supervisor or manager must communicate the activities of the work flow precisely so that everyone understands exactly what to do and how they are expected to manage work flow. The work order and activities should be written as a simple chart for extra clarity.
Time management is an important strategy in helping to manage work flow. For example, time planned to check emails or make phone calls allows for less interruptions to work flow than stopping every few minutes to do such small, but often time consuming tasks. Organizational strategy is also a good way to manage work flow by accomplishing activities within the work flow system without wasted time searching for materials needed to complete projects. Moreover, only one project at a time should occupy the desk space. Other projects can be labeled and stored away from the main desk -- perhaps in an in/out basket labeled with deadline dates.
Accountability, as part of the work flow system, helps manage work flow as it establishes a work standard. Those performing the activities must take responsibility for how they manage work flow in order to complete all the activities needed to do their jobs. However, if an employee is expected to manage work flow to a certain standard, he or she should be involved in setting goals related to his or her work flow performance. The supervisor or manager should also help develop and monitor the employee's progress.
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