Gather your teams! It’s time to talk process.
Re-examining your current, internal workflow aids in the general understanding of which team members are responsible for specific deliverables and is key to understanding what will work best for your team. In keeping each person on the same page regarding the order-of-operations within your established workflow, you vastly decrease the risk of communication breakdowns.
Bolstering and committing to an established plan-of-action for how teams might tackle new features fosters empowerment, allows work to move through quickly, and relieves inter-team dependencies.
All of that to say: A productive first step to building an efficient workflow is to understand who owns what.
Identify the people who make up your individual teams.
Give each of them a chance to be heard. Without the willingness to empower individuals to vocalize roadblocks that their team may face each day (and especially for major, deadline-driven, high-value projects), it will be incredibly difficult to identify any issues that are below the surface. Allow each member of each team to explain their role within your company’s workflow and the opportunity to express what they feel their current role is within their department, ways they feel productivity might improve, or how they feel roles might be better established. If there are people on your team(s) who feel out-of-place or are unsure about what they are meant to deliver and when, this is the time to identify and solve that roadblock.
Consider Your Tools
What tools are currently in place for teams to document, specify, or finalize features? By inviting your team members to supply feedback about their experience with the tools used by the business (or perhaps tools used by their team alone), you may begin to analyze and understand the value of the tools you are choosing to implement. If the platforms, apps, sites, trackers, etc., that are being used internally are not helping your teams to achieve specific goals or are currently hindering productivity in any way, this conversation will be a productive step in moving toward the right direction.
Create and Measure Realistic Goals
If your team does not already have an established set of goals, this is a wonderful opportunity to work towards creating a few reasonable and measurable metrics. (Some examples to help your team get started: How many of your projects meet their deadlines? How often does your team accurately estimate projects? How reliable is your resourcing? How many features are completed each week/two weeks/quarter?) Team goals have value because they help track and measure continuous growth, which should always be the objective. If there is currently a lack of commitment to specific, internal goals, now is the perfect time to start.
If your team currently has a way to set goals, measure growth, and track productivity, this is a great chance to take a close look at the numbers. What do they say about your team(s)? Invite each team to introduce their individual or team goals, express any measurements they think might help them solve specific problems, and put forth their own set of S.M.A.R.T goals.
Produce Action Items
Now that you have a better understanding of your current teams, reviewed your internal processes, and have engaged in discussion about which of your tools (or any new tools that might) work for your teams, it is the ideal time to share some actionable items that your teams may complete for your next meeting.