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Agile Workflow for Continuous Improvement

For businesses, there are many ways to approach workflow to provide effective, yet flexible planning. Plans change, new situations arise, and a business needs to be adaptive enough to manage this flexibility. A lot of companies have moved to what is called an agile workflow, which allows them to maintain a plan of action, but also leaves enough flexibility for the unknown.

In essence, an agile workflow can be thought of as a means of breaking a plan down into smaller deliverables, rather than the completion of the entire plan. Failing to have mechanisms in place that allow for changes in plans can be a death knell for a business.

The fact of the matter is that even the best plan is going to have holes in it. This might make one wonder what the point of planning even is. However, even in unpredictable situations, it is possible to have an agile workflow plan that will allow business versatility.

With an agile workflow, a large project can be broken down into smaller bites. In the tech industry, these smaller projects are often referred to as “stories”. These stories can then be prioritized depending on need. It makes sure that your business is focused on the most important small task at hand, while still working towards the completion of that overall goal.

How Does It Work In Practice?

Say you are starting a new project. First, you will want to break that project down into its subtasks. Then, order those tasks by importance. It is important to note that this will likely change during project completion, the idea with agile workflow is to be able to adjust when a new need or task arises.

There are two main ways, or frameworks, for agile workflow: scrum and kanban. It might sound strange, but they simply refer to the ways that agile workflow can be implemented.

With the scrum approach to agile workflow, a larger project is broken down into small tasks called stories. These stories are then organized into groups of stories called sprints. The sprints will be organized based on the priority of the set of tasks.

The important part of this process is that there is no timeline involved. There are regular sprint reviews, which allow you to see how well you managed the tasks in a given sprint. Feedback can be given, helping to prepare more efficient and effective agile workflow sprints in the future. Most companies will have regular, even daily, meetings to see where they are in the process, what needs to be changed, and so on.

Kanban is a slightly less flexible way to manage agile workflow. Utilizing a process board, a team will work towards a continuous flow of incremental improvements. Regular, often weekly, meetings take place to take stock of where teams are in various processes and to make any adjustments that might need to be made.

Benefits of Agile Workflow

While agile workflow was first introduced in the tech industry and tends to be better known and used among IT professionals, it can be a highly beneficial means of workflow planning for a wide range of industries.

Any business of any size can benefit significantly from using agile workflow techniques and software. This methodology provides for a more flexible and efficient means of business planning and the ability to reach goals.

The ability to get regular feedback from users, teams and even management will help you to improve your process which will streamline your efforts in the future. Not only does this software allow you to be more flexible in your strategic planning, but it will also enhance transparency along every step of the planning and compliance process.

With constant testing and input, you will be able to detect problems or errors in your processes easier. The earlier you can detect and rectify a problem, the easier it is to move forward and avoid similar errors in the future.

There is no shortage of agile workflow software suites that provide a powerful range of tools to help improve the efficiency, transparency, and utility of your planning and implementation processes.

Comindware Tracker has tools that let you introduce agile workflow into your business. The software can easily be refactored, which allows companies to implement agile workflow techniques without the need for recoding or process stoppage every time you need to improve your automated workflow. The software also makes detailing and managing stories and sprints simple. The software will gather all tasks and associated work data. This provides the main node where tasks and progress can be easily tracked and stories or sprints assigned and managed.

With all work data and associated information stored in a single place, agile workflow provides for collective ownership of work. This allows for easier sharing of ideas and techniques, which can also improve outcomes and efficiency. To learn more or start a 30-day free trial, click here.

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Elena Haidukova is an Online Marketing Manager at Comindware Inc., and a passionate advocate for empowering executive managers onward to workflow automation and running their businesses effectively.

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Posted on:  in Workflow

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