As a preset order of operations for getting stuff done, they’re essential for getting work right the first time, every time.
Workflow management is also indispensable for building efficiencies into processes, so you can spend more time doing meaningful work and less time feeling frustrated due to procedural roadblocks.
In short, they allow you to plan your work and work your plan. If you don’t have solid workflows in place, you’ve probably experienced the following problems:
- Disjointed workflows; no one knows who does what or in what order.
- Communication breakdowns, and not like the Led Zeppelin song, either.
- Missed deadlines; lack of process leads to inefficiency. In turn, nothing getting done on time.
Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, right?
That’s just a short list of potential issues you could face, too.
Having a workflow management process in place stops all of those. You’ll know exactly who needs to do what and when. It stops deadlines from falling past their due date, and communication issues stunting projects.
It’s why the most organized marketers are 397% more likely to report success.
Download Your Marketing Workflow Management Template Bundle
Fixing broken marketing processes isn’t always easy. Having the right tools helps though, so this post includes the following free resources:
- Marketing Project Management Template: Plan the efficient processes that you’ll execute.
- Marketing Project Checklist Template: Ensure every project and campaign gets completed with no missed steps.
- Marketing Calendar Template: Map out deadlines and make projects visible across your entire department.
Together, this trio of templates will help you get started planning and managing processes that work. Download them below before continuing.
1. Increased Efficiency Means Getting More Done
If you’re like most marketers, you have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.
Mile-long to-do lists come with the territory, but sometimes that work is more achievable than it seems. While it’s easy to blame being overworked for lack of productivity, sometimes the real culprit is an inefficient workflow.
Not every workflow needs hundreds of steps. In fact, padding-out yours with too many steps can actually have the opposite effect.
In his book High Output Management, Andrew S. Grove, former chairman and CEO at Intel, says:
Count the number of steps in the flow chart, so you know how many you started with. […] Set a rough target for reduction of the number of steps.
In the first round of simplification, our experience shows that you can reasonably expect a 30 to 50 percent reduction.
To implement the actual simplification, you must question why each step is performed. Typically, you will find that many steps exist in your workflow for no good reason. Often they are there because of tradition or because formal procedure necessitates it, not for a practical reason.
The bottom line, by planning out workflows strategically, you can get more done in less time.
2. They Make Responsibilities Clear to All Team Members
How often have you heard someone say, “I didn’t know I was supposed to get that done”?
How often have you said that out loud yourself?
It’s time to put a permanent stop to “not-my-jobism”.
When workflows are clearly mapped out, there’s no ambiguity around who is responsible for which tasks and deadlines. You execute or you don’t.
The result? Projects get done right the first time with more consistency.
3. Reducing the Need for Hand-Holding and Oversight
This one is tied into point number two above.
When people don’t quite know what to do, they’ll lean on management for guidance. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless they lean a little too hard — to the extent of having no initiative of their own.
Workflows make it clear what team members are responsible for, so they don’t have to wonder whether they’re working on the right things. It’s all there for them to follow.
4. Building Consistency in Execution
Consistency is key to marketing success.
It’s a fundamental building block for constructing and executing processes that drive 10X results.
If you don’t have a consistent set of steps to follow for every type of project, tasks are liable to fall through the cracks.
Sometimes, the negative effects are small, like a minor editing step gets missed. Other times, the consequences can be dramatically more significant, like a webinar not getting recorded (good luck publishing that recap video… without the video).
Often, things happen and can’t be prevented. That’s life; however, marketers should always be doing as much as possible to prevent major mishaps.
A workflow management process does exactly that.Recommended Reading:Cold Email Marketing: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed (+Templates)
5. Enables Visibility Across Projects and Teams
There’s a lot of value in teams being able to see what other teams or coworkers are doing.
It helps achieve the following results:
- Managers can see what their staff is working on.
- Everyone can see the completion status of each project.
- Transparency improves communication.
Why Bother Planning Marketing Workflows?
There’s no sense investing time in something that won’t produce a benefit, so what’s the real benefit to planning out workflows and sticking to them?
Here are seven.
When workflows are mapped out and projects are placed onto a shared calendar, everyone stays in the loop and holds one another accountable.
Agile marketing is a great way to increase visibility into your team’s workload. One of key ways to do this is via the daily stand-up. This meeting takes place during the first 15 minutes of every work day.
To start, you gather every member of your team and ask them three basic questions:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- Are you experiencing any roadblocks?
Daily stand-up meetings help managers stay up-to-date about everything their team is working on and help facilitate better collaboration and communication amongst team members.
CoSchedule has a feature, called the Team Management Dashboard, that is basically a daily stand-up visualized before your very eyes.
What Are Popular Workflow Management Tools for Marketers?
There are tons of different software options available, although most of them are not specifically for marketers. Here are some common choices:
Of course, we recommend our own marketing suite. It has everything you’ll need to manage your new workflows, already built in:
How to Create New Workflows in 8 Easy Steps
Ready to create workflows that help your team become more productive, meet deadlines on-time, and be consistent?
Here are eight steps you can use to create new marketing workflows: