Teams are of tremendous value to organizations, because they bring together complementary skills and styles. Strong teams are particularly valuable for their ability to continue even in the face of problems that might put individuals out of commission. For example, if one team member is out sick, the others can often cover their work so that impact to the team’s mission is minimized.
Enemies of good teamwork are inefficiency and duplication of effort, and automated workflows are terrific for reducing inefficiency and eliminating duplication of effort. In manual workflows, someone may complete a form by hand, and then another person collects data from handwritten forms and enters it into a database or other electronic format.
Online forms do away with that type of duplication of effort because the initial form user creates data that can be copied into other data collections. Better still, automated workflows can take data entered by an online form user and automatically use it to populate databases or other forms. These capabilities make team workflow more effective and more efficient. Here are 4 ways you can use workflow software to manage teams better.
1. Create Self-Updating Task Lists
Written task lists may work fine for assigning family chores at home, but they can result in problems when used by work teams. Someone could, for example, tackle a task that someone else has already worked on, not realizing the task had already been claimed or assigned. Self-updating task lists can be created with the right workflow software. When a task is assigned or claimed, it can be automatically deleted from the task list, so others don’t work on it. Likewise, as soon as a new task is created, it can be added to the task list. The result is a task list that is always up to date.
2. Use Auto-Populate Features for Online Forms
Have you ever filled out online forms where you have to enter data such as your name multiple times? Workflow software can be used to prevent this duplicated effort. With auto-populate functionality, data entered once can then be automatically copied and used to populate all the places where that data is needed. If, for example, a new hire’s employee ID number is needed for several new employee onboarding forms, the workflow can be designed so that the first time it is entered, it can be automatically copied and used to populate the “employee ID” field of all the forms instantaneously.
3. Create Simple Workflows for Idea Submission
Ideas are a type of fuel for successful teams, but many times teams don’t have a good way of submitting ideas for consideration. With workflow software, it’s easy enough to create a simple idea-submission workflow that makes sense for the team’s needs. Suppose someone on a marketing team has a new idea for a social media ad. They could submit it using the idea submission workflow, knowing that it will be brought up in the weekly team meeting, with their name attached to it.
4. Ensure Forms Integrate with Web Pages, Databases, and Other Software
Workflow software really proves its worth when integrating the many entities that produce and consume data. Imagine data from one of your company’s web landing pages being automatically routed to your CRM and assigned to a customer care team member, without anyone having to intervene. These are the exact types of automated workflows you should insist that your workflow software be capable of creating.
Workflow software can function almost as another work team member, by ensuring that processes are efficient, and that data generated or used during a process is shared appropriately. Online forms themselves increase efficiency and reduce or eliminate duplication of effort. Couple online forms with automated workflows and team members can focus on core team objectives, confident that the information they work with is accurate and current.
PerfectApps is workflow software that allows for easy creation of custom online forms and automated workflows. The drag-and-drop interface means that no programming is required, and that form and workflow users can help design the forms and workflows that meet their needs perfectly. You can try PerfectApps for free by signing up for a trial. See for yourself how PerfectApps may be the member of your team you didn’t realize you needed.